All Adults Should be Screened for Depression, Panel Advises

All adults should be screened for depression, according to a panel appointed by the Department of Health and Human Services. If initial screening tests indicate an increased risk of depression, health care providers are advised to conduct assessments to look for substance abuse or other medical conditions.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advised that women be screened for depression during pregnancy and after childbirth, according to The Washington Post.

The task force wrote in JAMA that major depressive disorder is associated with suicide, and impacts the ability to manage other health problems. “Depression has a major effect on quality of life for the patient and affects family members, especially children,” the group wrote.

Full story of adults and screening for depression at drugfree.org

Depression in dementia more common in community care, study finds

A University of Manchester study of over 400 people in eight EU countries with severe dementia has found that those residing in long-term care homes are less likely to suffer from depressive symptoms than those living in the community.

Researchers studied 414 people with severe dementia along with their carers in England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. The study gathered information on quality of life, activities of daily living such as bathing, feeding and dressing and presence of depressive symptoms using standardised measures.

In the groups studied, 37% of the 217 people living in the community showed signs of depression compared to 23% of the 197 in care homes. It is one of the few studies comparing similar groups of people living at home and in nursing homes.

Full story of depression in dementia at Science Daily

Psychologist links burnout, depression

Research by City College of New York psychology Professor Irvin Schonfeld in the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership suggests a strong connection between burnout and depression.

In a study of more than 5,500 school teachers to estimate the prevalence of depressive disorders in workers with burnout, 90% of the subjects identified as burned out met diagnostic criteria for depression.

The study also examined the overlap of burnout with the atypical subtype of depression. Features of atypical depression were observed in 63% of the burned-out participants with major depression.

Full story of link between burnout and depression at Science Daily

Almost 8 Percent of Americans are Moderately to Severely Depressed

An estimated 7.6 percent of Americans ages 12 and up are moderately to severely depressed, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those with severe symptoms, only 35 percent reported having contact with a mental health professional in the past year.

“Not enough people are getting appropriate treatment for depression,” lead author Laura Pratt, with the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, told HealthDay. “People with severe depression should be getting psychotherapy. Some might need complicated medication regimens, which psychiatrists are better equipped to do, which makes it even more concerning that only 35 percent of people with severe depression have seen a mental health professional.”

Full story of Americans and depression at drugfree.org

Intervention needed for survivors of childhood burns

Adults who have been hospitalized for a burn as a child experience higher than usual rates of depression and suicidal thoughts, according to new research at the University of Adelaide.

A 30-year follow up of childhood burns victims has been conducted by the University’s Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies. They found that 42% of people surveyed had suffered some form of mental illness and 30% suffered depression at some stage in their lives.

The results, now published in the journal Burns, also found that long-term depression was an issue among the group, and 11% had attempted suicide.

Full story of treatment for childhood burns at Science Daily