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