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Fam Pract Res J. 1992 Dec;12(4):431-8.

Physicians' recognition of depression.

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Department of Family Medicine, Long Hospital, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202.


Depression is a common but underrecognized disorder in family practice. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between physician attitudes toward psychosocial aspects of care and psychiatric knowledge and recognition of depression in a family practice residency clinic. Adult patients (n = 582) presenting to 16 family practice residents were screened for depression using the short form of the Beck Depression Inventory. A regression model was created with the rate of recognition of depression for each physician as the dependent variable. Independent variables included in the model were resident scores on the Physician Belief Scale and the psychiatric subsection of the in-training exam scores, patient familiarity, and whether the attending physician was consulted. Orientation toward psychosocial aspects of medical care was found to be significantly related to recognition of patients at risk for depression. In-training examination psychiatric subsection scores were unrelated to a resident's clinical recognition of depression risk. This study suggests that physician attitude is a significant factor in successful recognition of depression by family practice residents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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