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Review: screening instruments had sensitivities of 67–100% and specificities of 53–98% for detecting major depression in older primary care patients

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 Q What is the accuracy of various screening instruments for detecting depression in older adults in primary care?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★☆☆ IM/Ambulatory care ★★★★★☆☆ Mental Health ★★★★★☆☆


Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline and PsycINFO (1966 to January 2002); trial registry of the Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Group; US Preventive Services Task Force Guide to Clinical Preventive Services (1996); Agency for Health Care Policy and Research Clinical Practice Guideline on Depression (1993); recent systematic reviews; bibliographies; and peer review.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

English language studies of depression screening in primary care populations of adults >65 years of age; comparison of instrument with a criterion standard (structured or semistructured diagnostic interviews or independent evaluations by psychiatrists based on …

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  • For correspondence: Dr L C Watson, Geriatric Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

  • Sources of funding: Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

  • A modified version of this abstract appears in Evidence-Based Nursing.