Depression is the fourth leading cause of global burden of disease. Depression is present in all regions of the world, significantly affecting the younger and older age groups (World Health Organization [WHO], 2000; Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. It is estimated that upwards of 8% of adolescents meet criteria for depression .Depression during adolescence is a disabling condition that is associated with serious long-term morbidities and an increased risk of suicide. It has been reported that among adolescents with major depression, as many as 7% commit suicide in their early adult years. Yet despite these alarming statistics, adolescent depression often goes undiagnosed despite the availability of screening tools that have been demonstrated to be effective. New private health plans and insurance policies are required to offer depression screening for adolescents as well as adults at no cost to the consumer. Critics of adolescent depression screening initiatives raise questions about whether the costs of these programs will outweigh the benefits. They raise concerns regarding whether schools are appropriate settings in which to conduct depression screenings. They argue that depression screening programs infringe on the rights and privacy of adolescents and parents. Critics question the effectiveness of
depression screening measures.
Why are we Afraid to Screen Adolescents for Depression?
Roger A Boothroyd
Last date updated on June, 2014