Depression in primary care. Part 1: Screening and diagnosis
AbstractOne of the commonest psychological problems that a clinician would encounter in primary care is depression. Theprevalence of depression is high in women, the elderly and those with underlying physical problems or during the postpartumperiod. The spectrum of clinical presentations is wide and somatic complaints are more common in primary care clinics.Depression may present as a primary disorder and co-morbidity with other psychological problems or physical illnessesis high. A good clinical interview is an important form of assessment and a quick screening of depression can be donewith the administration of proper rating scales, such as the Patient Health Questionnaire, Hamilton Depression RatingScale or Geriatric Depression Scale. Repeated use of the same scale in a patient would help the clinician to monitor theprogress objectively.
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