Recommendation on adolescent screening for MDD open for public comment

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation is available online for comment until October 5, 2015.

In early September, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) posted a draft “recommendation statement” on screening for major depressive disorder (MDD) in children and adolescents, stating that adolescents ages 12 to 18 should be screened for MDD when adequate systems are in place for diagnosis, treatment and monitoring. However, the task force determined that there is insufficient evidence to make a recommendation regarding screening with children younger than 12. 

The task force notes that early screening for and identification of depression can lead to better support and treatment to alleviate symptoms and lessen the risk of suicide. 

The task force’s draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review has been posted for public comment on the task force website. Comments can be submitted until Oct. 5, 2015.

The USPSTF is an independent panel composed of primary care providers — such as internists, pediatricians, family physicians, gynecologists/obstetricians, nurses and health behavior specialists — that focuses on prevention and evidence-based medicine. The USPSTF conducts scientific evidence reviews of a broad range of clinical preventive health care services (such as screening, counseling, and preventive medications) and develops recommendations for primary care clinicians and health systems. 

APA is a partner of the task force and plans to submit comments regarding the task force’s recommendations on child and adolescent screening for MDD.