Screening for depression: recommendations and rationale

Ann Intern Med. 2002 May 21;136(10):760-4. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-136-10-200205210-00012.


This statement summarizes the current U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations for screening for depression and the supporting scientific evidence and updates the 1996 USPSTF recommendations on this topic. At that time, the USPSTF concluded that there was insufficient evidence to recommend for or against routine use of standardized questionnaires to screen for depression in primary care patients. The complete information on which the current statement is based, including evidence tables and references, is available in the accompanying article in this issue and in the systematic evidence review on this topic, which can be obtained through the USPSTF Web site ( and in print through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Publications Clearinghouse (800-358-9295).

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / therapy
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / standards*