Screen all adults under 65 for anxiety

September 21, 2022

2 minutes reading


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Main conclusions

  • The United States Preventive Services Task Force released a draft statement of recommendation that says all adults under age 65 should be screened for anxiety.
  • The task force also called for more research on screening for anxiety in people age 65 and older and screening for suicide risk.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force released a landmark draft statement of recommendation advocating screening adults under 65 for anxiety.

In addition, the task force said it continues to recommend screening all adults for depression. Both statements are Grade B recommendations, according to a press release.

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The USPSTF released a draft recommendation statement that says all adults under age 65 should be screened for anxiety. Source: Adobe Stock.

The USPSTF also considered the benefits and harms of screening for suicide risk in all adults, but there was insufficient evidence to make a recommendation (statement I).

“To address the critical need to support adult mental health in primary care, the Task Force reviewed the evidence on screening for anxiety, depression, and suicide risk,” Task Force member Lori pbertPhD, a professor in the department of quantitative and population health sciences, associate chief of the division of preventive and behavioral medicine, and founder and director of the UMass Chan School of Medicine’s Tobacco Treatment Research and Training Center, said in the statement. “The good news is that screening all adults for depression, including those who are pregnant and postpartum, and screening adults under 65 for anxiety can help identify these conditions early so people can heal. connect to care”.

Screening and treatment can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression for most adults, according to the release, but “the task force recognizes that screening is only the first step in helping adults with anxiety and depression.” .

The USPSTF noted that, after diagnosis, healthcare providers should help patients identify the treatment that is best for them and continue to monitor their well-being to ensure treatment effectiveness.

The recommendations are only for those who do not have signs and symptoms of anxiety or depression, according to the statement, and “it is essential that healthcare professionals connect any individual who raises a concern about anxiety, depression or suicide or reports symptoms of these conditions of care. adequate”.

In addition, the USPSTF stated that there is still insufficient evidence to recommend screening for anxiety in people over age 65 and that more research is “critically needed on the role of screening for suicide risk.”

“The task force cares deeply about the mental health of people across the country. Unfortunately, evidence is limited on screening adults age 65 and older for anxiety and screening all adults for suicide risk, so we are urgently calling for more research,” task force member gbenga ogedegbeMD, MPH, the inaugural director and founder of the Institute for Excellence in Health Equity at NYU Langone Health, said in the statement. “In the absence of evidence, healthcare providers must use their judgment based on the patient’s individual circumstances when determining whether or not to screen.”

The recommendation statement has been posted for public comment, which can be submitted here from September 20 to October 17.

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