Updated Guidelines for Identifying, Managing Depression in Adolescents

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Clinical practice guidelines have been updated to help PCPs screen and treat adolescent depression.
Clinical practice guidelines have been updated to help PCPs screen and treat adolescent depression.

HealthDay News — Clinical practice guidelines have been updated to assist primary care (PC) physicians in the screening, treatment, and management of adolescent depression in youth aged 10 to 21 years. The details of the updates are presented in two reports published online in Pediatrics.

Rachel A. Zuckerbrot, MD, from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues updated guidelines relating to identification and initial management of adolescent depression. The athors note that the guidelines include recommendations for preparation of the PC practice for improved adolescent depression care; annual universal screening of youth ≥12 years; identification of depression in high-risk youth; systematic assessment procedures using reliable depression scales, patient and caregiver interviews, and criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition; psychoeducation for patients and families; establishment of links within the community; and development of a safety plan.

Amy H. Cheung, MD, from the University of Toronto, and colleagues updated guidelines to address treatment and ongoing management of depression in adolescents in the PC setting. The authors note that the guidelines offer recommendations on active monitoring for mild depression; treatment with evidence-based medication and psychotherapy in moderate and/or severe depression; monitoring of side effects; consultation and co-management of care with mental health specialists; monitoring outcomes; and specific steps to be taken in cases of partial or no improvement.

"Additional research concerning the management of depressed youth in PC is needed, including the usability, feasibility, and sustainability of guidelines, and determination of the extent to which the guidelines actually improve outcomes of depressed youth," Cheung and colleagues write.

One author from both studies disclosed receipt of royalties from several publishing companies, as well as part ownership of CATCH Services.

References

  1. Zuckerbrot RA, Cheung AH, Jensen PS, et al. Guidelines for adolescent depression in primary care (GLAD-PC): part I. Treatment and ongoing management [published online February 26, 2018]. Pediatrics. doi:10.1542/peds.2017-4081
  2. Cheung AH, Zuckerbrot RA, Jensen PS, et al. Guidelines for adolescent depression in primary care (GLAD-PC): part II. Treatment and ongoing management [published online February 26, 2018]. Pediatrics. doi:10.1542/peds.2017-4082
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