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Review: ultra-short screening tests are not highly accurate for detecting depression in primary care

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 Q Do ultra-short screening instruments accurately detect depression in primary care?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ IM/Ambulatory care ★★★★★★★ Cardiology ★★★★★★☆ Endocrine ★★★★★★☆


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Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (all to June 2006); Science Direct; Ingenta Select; Ovid Full Text; Wiley Interscience; and Web of Knowledge.

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primary studies assessing the diagnostic validity of ultra-short depression screening instruments (ie, those with 1–4 items, taking <2 min to complete) in primary care patients. Details of the questions used can be found on, but most commonly the PHQ-2 or PrimeMD questions were used. The PHQ-2 questions were (1) …

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  • For correspondence: Dr A J Mitchell, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, UK. alex.mitchell{at}

  • Source of funding: not stated.