Intended for healthcare professionals

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Primary Care

Effect of the addition of a “help” question to two screening questions on specificity for diagnosis of depression in general practice: diagnostic validity study

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.38607.464537.7C (Published 13 October 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:884

Rapid Response:

improving diagnosis of depression in chronic disease

Dear editor,

The paper by Arroll (1) outlines a simple and fast screening tool for
depression. They suggest it is used during new patient medicals but it
could also be used during routine medication reviews. It would be simple
to add the three questions to the diabetic or coronary heart disease
review template alongside smoking status and body mass index.

Reading "The patients jounrney:Rheumatoid arthritis" by Carol Simpson and
Chloe Franks (2) depression is a dominant concern to patients. Screening
for the psychological consequences of the illness could help build a
stronger working relationship with the patient by adressing patients
concerns while also screening for a major complication of arthrtis.

(1) Arroll V, Goodyear-Smith F, Kerse N, Fishman T, Jane Gunn. Effect
of the addition of a "help" question to two screening questions on
specificity for diagnosis of depression in general practice:diagnostic
validity study.BMJ 2005;331:884-886

(2)Carol Simpson, Chloe Franks, Catherine Morrison, Heidi Lempp. The
patients Journey: rheumatoid arthritis.BMJ 2005;331:887-889.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

16 October 2005
Richard L Davies
General Practitioner
703 Leeds and Bradford Road, Stanningley, Pudsey, Leeds LS28 6PE