Identification and treatment of masked depression in a general medical practice

J Clin Psychiatry. 1983 Oct;44(10):365-8.


The usefulness of the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale as a screening instrument to uncover masked depression, and the benefits of early identification and treatment with alprazolam, were evaluated in a general medical practice population. There was a 95% scale acceptance by patients and a 12% overall prevalence of depression based on SDS results. Patients who scored in the depressed range on the SDS were, on a randomized basis, either identified immediately to their physicians and treated with alprazolam (N = 21) or identified after 4 weeks (natural history controls, N = 20). Treatment resulted in improvement in 66% of the identified group versus a 35% spontaneous improvement in the control group (p less than .05).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alprazolam
  • Attitude to Health
  • Benzodiazepines / therapeutic use
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Family Practice
  • Humans
  • Medical Records
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory
  • Research Design


  • Benzodiazepines
  • Alprazolam