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Depression in teenagers can be identified with three questions, study shows

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i547 (Published 29 January 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i547
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Asking three simple questions can accurately detect depression in adolescents aged 14 to 16, a Scandinavian primary care study has shown,1 demonstrating that the questions had comparable sensitivity to a current “gold standard” written questionnaire for diagnosing depression.

Depression can have serious consequences for the health and lives of teenagers, but validated tools for GPs to diagnose depression in this age group are currently limited.

Researchers investigated whether three short questions that have been validated for detecting depression in adults in general practice were also valid for identifying mild, moderate, and major depression in adolescents.

The researchers interviewed 296 adolescents aged 14 to 16 (including 145 from Denmark and 149 from …

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