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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews.

Recognition of depression by non-psychiatric physicians: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis

Review published: 2008.

Bibliographic details: Cepoiu M, McCusker J, Cole MG, Sewitch M, Belzile E, Ciampi A.  Recognition of depression by non-psychiatric physicians: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2008; 23(1): 25-36. [PMC free article: PMC2173927] [PubMed: 17968628]

Quality assessment

This review concluded that the accuracy of depression recognition by non-psychiatrist physicians was low. This conclusion appeared reasonable, but the authors' overall estimates of depression recognition may need to be treated with caution given variation between studies included in this review. Full critical summary

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Depression, with up to 11.9% prevalence in the general population, is a common disorder strongly associated with increased morbidity. The accuracy of non-psychiatric physicians in recognizing depression may influence the outcome of the illness, as unrecognized patients are not offered treatment for depression.

OBJECTIVES: To describe and quantitatively summarize the existing data on recognition of depression by non-psychiatric physicians.

METHODS: We searched the following databases: MEDLINE (1966-2005), Psych INFO (1967-2005) and CINAHL (1982-2005). To summarize data presented in the papers reviewed, we calculated the Summary receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and the summary sensitivity, specificity and odds ratios (ORs) of recognition, and their 95% confidence intervals using the random effects model.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The summary sensitivity, specificity, and OR of recognition using the random effects model were: 36.4% (95% CI: 27.9-44.8), 83.7% (95% CI: 77.5-90.0), and 4.0 (95% CI: 3.2-4.9), respectively. We also calculated the Summary ROC. We performed a metaregression analysis, which showed that the method of documentation of recognition, the age of the sample, and the date of study publication have significant effect on the summary sensitivity and the odds of recognition, in the univariate model. Only the method of documentation had a significant effect on summary sensitivity, when the age of the sample and the date of publication were added to the model.

CONCLUSION: The accuracy of depression recognition by non-psychiatrist physicians is low. Further research should focus on developing standardized methods of documenting non-psychiatric physicians' recognition of depression.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2014 University of York.

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