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Task Force Recommends Screening Adolescents for Clinical Depression
Date:3/30/2009

ression symptoms. Treating clinically depressed youths with SSRIs is associated with an increased risk of suicidality (suicidal thoughts, preparation and attempts of suicide) and, therefore, should only be considered if careful clinical supervision is possible.

Depressed children and adolescents are at an increased risk of suicide, which is the third-leading cause of death among people age 15 to 24 and the sixth-leading cause of death among those age 5 to 14. Adolescents suffering from clinical depression are also more likely to suffer from depression in early adulthood. Nearly 6 percent of adolescents 13 to 18 years of age are clinically depressed, and it is more common among girls than boys.

The Task Force is the leading independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care. The Task Force, which is supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling and preventive medications. Its recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical preventive services. The Task Force based its conclusions on a report from a research team led by Selvi Williams, M.D., at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, which is part of AHRQ's Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center.

Once the embargo lifts at 7:00 a.m., EDT, on March 30, the recommendations and materials for clinicians will be available on the AHRQ Web site at http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstf/uspschdepr.htm.

Previous Task Force recommendations, summaries of the evidence and related materials are also available on the AHRQ Web site. Clinical information is also available from AHRQ's National Guideline Clearinghouse at http://www
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SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
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