Note that in contrast to CANMAT (2016), the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (2013) does NOT recommend routinely screening adults in primary care who 1) have no apparent symptoms of depression, 2) are at average risk of depression, or 3) even those who may be at increased risk.
How to Screen
There are many ways to screen:
1. Two question screen (MacMillan et al, 2005):
“Over the past 2 weeks, have you felt down, depressed, or hopeless?”
“Over the past 2 weeks, have you felt little interest or pleasure in doing things?”
A positive response to either question warrants further assessment. A negative response to BOTH questions suggests that depression is unlikely.
These two screening questions have been shown to have a sensitivity 97% and specificity 67% (Aroll, 2003).