The implementation of a clinical toolkit and adolescent depression screening program in primary care

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2014 Dec;53(14):1336-44. doi: 10.1177/0009922814543945. Epub 2014 Jul 17.


PROBLEM/BACKGROUND: Adolescent depression is a growing problem for today's society with only 30% receiving services.

Aim and methods: The aim of this project was to increase identification and treatment of depressed adolescents, and comfort levels of primary care providers with the implementation of a depression-screening program and use of a clinical depression toolkit within a primary care setting.

Setting: The setting was a private pediatric practice in central Maine.

Results: Over an 8-week period, 266 adolescents were screened. Twelve adolescents (4.5%) received a diagnosis of depression and 11 received treatment within 8 days. Survey results showed a significant increase in providers' feelings of comfort and accountability.

Conclusion: This project demonstrates that it is feasible to implement a depression screening and treatment program in primary care. It demonstrates that primary care providers can increase their comfort and feelings accountability in treating depression in primary care, thus increasing access for this monumental and potential catastrophic problem.

Keywords: adolescent depression; depression screening; primary care.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Child
  • Clinical Competence
  • Decision Trees
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maine
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration*
  • Primary Health Care*