Screening Adults for Depression in Primary Care

Med Clin North Am. 2017 Jul;101(4):807-821. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2017.03.010.


The burden of depression in the United States is substantial. Evidence supports the benefits of screening for depression in all adults, including older patients and pregnant and postpartum women, when coupled with appropriate resources for management of disease. Developing, implementing, and sustaining a high-fidelity screening process is an important first step for improving the care of patients with depression in primary care. Initial treatment for depression should include psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, or a combination of both. Collaborative care models are evidence-based approaches to depression treatment and follow-up that can be feasibly initiated in the primary care setting.

Keywords: Collaborative care; Depression screening; Depression treatment; Population health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / therapy
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Psychotherapy
  • Sex Factors
  • United States


  • Antidepressive Agents