Detection rates of depression in UK medical settings are very low, but new evidence suggests there is a simple way to change this.
According to a study led by Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust, asking people if they have recently felt ‘down or depressed’ could form a reliable way to identify those at risk.
Research on 118 hospital patients aged 65 and over, found answers to the following two questions were valuable for predicting those who were later diagnosed with the mental health condition:
- During the past month, have you been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless?
- During the past month, have you often been bothered by having little interest or pleasure in doing things?
If a patient answered yes to one of these questions, it was marked as a positive for the purpose of the study’s statistics.
Results showed that 100% of patients later formally diagnosed as depressed were identified in the trial.