6 responses to “Measurement of depressive symptoms improves outcomes in primary care”

  1. Had an idea reading this. One could have a “Depression/anxiety Awareness Month” and screen patients while sitting in the waiting room, using the PHQ or GAD screening tool. Their score could simply be recorded on that visit but they could be invited to follow up if appropriate. It would be a way of highlighting that Mental Health is important and part of what family physicians treat/counsel. It could be an interesting learning experience for both physician and patient. I would be curious how many of my patients have scores in the moderate range, as that might give insight into such issues as compliance, chronic pain, insomnia etc.

  2. I use the PHQ9 and GAD7 with all of my depressed and anxious patients. The difficulty is with the non responders. The author suggests CBT as an augmentation strategy. It is the rare patient who can afford or access long term CBT, sadly. So we are left too often with medication “band aids” and multiple trials of different agents. I look forward to the day when we can tailor treatments to the genes of the patients.

  3. This is a great idea because it is easy to miss this devastating illness. That said the rating scales mentioned are not so helpful with elderly patients. An “awareness month” for an office would be a fantastic way to screen patients and also get the doctor used to talking about depression and social problems. ( Retired psychiatrist)

  4. “Bounce Back.”
    On-line resource for patients. CBT. Free.
    I find it useful.

  5. MoodGym online CBT is free and also good I find. I seem to remember seeing a study that showed free online CBT to be as good as one to one in person.

  6. I have been using the PHQ 9 and GAD scales for many years and have also found it useful in the ways the author described. Patients seem to appreciate comparing scores as time progresses and appear to use the change in the scores as encouragement and hope (if the scores are reducing!). It also allows us to get many of the ‘basic’ questions answered so that we can move more quickly to what their most pressing concerns are or what their positive changes have been since the last visit.

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