Detection of Depression in Primary Care and the Assessments Available That Can Assist in Diagnosis

  • Rachel Andes Brigham Young University
Keywords: Primary Care, Accuracy, Diagnostic Measures


Because of the frequency which primary care physicians see their patients, they are in a unique position to recognize depressive symptoms. The primary care environment is missing one out of every two patients with depression. This literature review will examine the accuracy of diagnosis by primary care physicians and the measures that could be used to increase accuracy. Three diagnostic measures are reviewed. The first is the Patient Health Questionnaire, which is easy to administer and can be given in different languages. The next is the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, which would be useful during the treatment of depression to assess the progress of individuals, because of the high reliability. The final is the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, which is a good option available as a second tier diagnostic measure after high-risk patients have been recognized. Poor recognition and misdiagnosis could be improved with the implementation of diagnostic measures.

Author Biography

Rachel Andes, Brigham Young University
My name is Rachel Andes, and I am currently a junior at Brigham Young University. I am majoring in Psychology with a minor in Spanish. I expect to graduate in the spring of 2020 and then continue on to graduate school. While taking a class on writing within psychology, I’ve gotten my first experience with research and I am learning how much I really enjoy it. I was led to the topic of my research after listening to family members experiences with mental illness and their experience being treated in primary care. I became curios about the accuracy of diagnosis within the primary care setting and the methods that could be used to increase that accuracy. Writing this paper and doing the research was a learning experience for me. The process of writing this paper was difficult, but I learned how to search out relevant articles. For those looking into doing research I would suggest finding a subject you are passionate about. Having a strong interest your topic makes the steep learning curve becomes easier to navigate.
Literature Reviews