Putting Prevention into Practice

An Evidence-Based Approach

Screening for Depression in Adults


Am Fam Physician. 2016 Aug 15;94(4):305-306.

Related U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement: Screening for Depression in Adults: Recommendation Statement.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.

Case Study

A.B., a 29-year-old man, presents to your office for a routine visit. He has a history of being overweight and has hypertension that is controlled by diet and exercise.

Case Study Questions

  1. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which one of the following services should you provide as part of A.B.'s routine care?

    • A. Screen for depression only if he reports symptoms suggestive of depression.

    • B. Screen for depression.

    • C. Screen for depression and prescribe medication if the screening results are positive.

    • D. Screen for depression only if he has a family history of depression.

    • E. Do not screen for depression.

  2. A.B. tells you that his wife is 16 weeks pregnant with their first child. Her pregnancy so far has been uncomplicated, and she is otherwise healthy. A.B. wants to know if she should be screened for depression. Based on the USPSTF's recommendation, which of the following statements are correct?

    • A. She should be screened for depression.

    • B. She should wait until after delivery and be screened for postpartum depression.

    • C. She should not be screened for depression because the pregnancy is uncomplicated

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.


U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for depression in adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2016;315(4):380–387.

O'Connor E, Rossom RC, Henninger M, Groom HC, Burda BU. Primary care screening for and treatment of depression in pregnant and postpartum women: evidence report and systematic review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA. 2016;315(4):388–406.

This PPIP quiz is based on the recommendations of the USPSTF. More information is available in the USPSTF Recommendation Statement and the supporting documents on the USPSTF website (http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org). The practice recommendations in this activity are available at http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/depression-in-adults-screening1.

This series is coordinated by Sumi Sexton, MD, Associate Deputy Editor.

A collection of Putting Prevention into Practice published in AFP is available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/ppip.


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