GR doctor hopes more doctors will screen patients for anxiety and depression

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A health panel is recommending all adults under the age of 65 get screened for mental illness during routine doctor visits, and a Grand Rapids doctor thinks it’s a good idea.

The United States Preventive Task Force has released a draft recommendation Review of the benefits of the demonstrations.

“The information in this report is intended to help healthcare decision-makers – including patients and physicians, healthcare system leaders and policy-makers – to make informed decisions that will improve the quality of healthcare services,” the report says.

Screening would involve a short questionnaire or other methods to check if a person has anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts, even if they are not showing symptoms.

“This is a pretty important step for us as a country to have that recommendation and it’s also important that it’s lumped together with preventive measures because we want people to get treatment for these conditions before they become life-threatening.” become”, Dr. Erin McNeely, internal medicine physician at Spectrum Health, said.

Spectrum Health has been screening patients for symptoms of anxiety and depression for several years PHQ-4 screening Method.

Primary care staff screen about 65,000 patients a month for depression and anxiety, according to a hospital spokesman. Between 4,000 and 6,000 people receive additional assessments for depression and anxiety, and about 400 complete a suicidality assessment.

“Discussing my patients’ positive screenings has been one of the deepest points of connection I have with my patients,” McNeely said. “My hope is that more institutions and more doctors doing these screenings on a regular basis will continue to open doors for our patients to feel comfortable talking about mental health.”

The task force is accepting public comments on the draft recommendation until October 17. GR doctor hopes more doctors will screen patients for anxiety and depression

Dais Johnston

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