The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggested routine anxiety and depression screenings for adults over the rise of mental health concerns. The agency recommends that adults under 65 undergo screenings for anxiety. Meanwhile, screening for depression is recommended for all adults, including people who are pregnant and postpartum.
“To address the critical need for supporting the mental health of adults in primary care, the Task Force reviewed the evidence on screening for anxiety, depression, and suicide risk,” said task force member Lori Pbert.” “The good news is that screening all adults for depression, including those who are pregnant and postpartum, and screening adults younger than 65 for anxiety, can help identify these conditions early so people can be connected to care.”
Anxiety is categorized as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, separation anxiety disorder, phobias, and selective mutism. The agency stated that routine screening and follow-up care reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, more research is needed on its importance regarding suicide.
“The Task Force cares deeply about the mental health of people nationwide. Unfortunately, evidence is limited on screening adults 65 or older for anxiety and screening all adults for suicide risk, so we are urgently calling for more research,” said Gbenga Ogedegbe, M.D., a task force member. “In the absence of evidence, health care professionals should use their judgment based on individual patient circumstances when determining whether or not to screen.”
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force consists of volunteer medical experts. They make evidence-based suggestions involving screenings, counseling, and preventative medications to improve the health of Americans. Furthermore, the task force’s position doesn’t represent the official position of the Department of Health and Human Services.