Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

USPSTF Recommends Depression Screening in All Adults

Suggestions for women during and after pregnancy

The USPSTF says there is convincing evidence that screening improves the accurate identification of all adult patients with depression in primary care settings, including pregnant and postpartum women.

Specifically, it found:

• Adequate evidence that programs combining depression screening with adequate support systems improve clinical outcomes in all adults.

• Convincing evidence that treatment of all adults with depression identified through screening in primary care settings with antidepressants, psychotherapy, or both decreases clinical morbidity.

• Adequate evidence that treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) improves clinical outcomes in pregnant and postpartum women with depression.

• The extent of harm of depression screening in adults and CBT in postpartum and pregnant women is small to none.

• Second-generation antidepressants are associated with small harms, such as an increase in suicidal behaviors in young adults and an increased risk of upper GI bleeding in older adults.

• Pharmacologic treatment of depression in pregnant women has a small to moderate link with potential serious fetal harms, but the likelihood of these serious harms is low.


Final recommendation statement. Depression in Adults: Screening. US Preventative Services Task Force Web site. Accessed January 26, 2016.