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MDD Screening Remains Low in Adolescents

J Pediatr; ePub 2018 Sep 21; Sekhar, et al

Major depressive disorder (MDD) screening among privately insured adolescents remains low, even after the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) 2009 endorsement of universal screening for adolescent MDD. This according to a retrospective cohort study of adolescents aged 12-14 years continuously insured from 2010 to 2014. The primary outcome was the frequency of MDD screening. Researchers found:

  • 413,080 adolescents (49% female, 89% urban, 21% with family history of depression) were included.
  • Adolescents averaged 2.9 well-visits during the 5-year study period.
  • MDD screening was more likely for urban residents, those with conduct disorder, and those with more well visits.
  • MDD screening was 96% less likely in those switching between multiple provider types for well-visits.
  • Family history of depression did not influence coding for MDD screening.


Sekhar DL, Ba DM, Liu G, Kraschnewski JL. Major depressive disorder screening remains low even among privately insured adolescents. [Published online ahead of print September 21, 2018]. J Pediatr. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.07.086.

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