U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Slams Youth Depression Screening

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends screening adolescents for clinical depression only when appropriate systems are in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care. This applies to all adolescents 12 to 18 years of age.

In a separate recommendation, the Task Force found insufficient evidence to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening children 7 to 11 years of age for clinical depression. Treating clinically depressed youths with SSRIs is associated with an increased risk of suicidality (suicidal thoughts, preparation and attempts of suicide) and, therefore, should only be considered if careful clinical supervision is possible.

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