HomeHealthUS Task Force Proposes Anxiety Screening for Most Adults

US Task Force Proposes Anxiety Screening for Most Adults


With recent surveys showing high levels of anxiety and depression Among Americans, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USTF) has proposed depression screening for all adults and anxiety screening for those under 65 who are not experience recognizable symptoms.

The proposed measure is intended to identify early signs of anxiety and depression in Americans who may not yet be showing symptoms, but who could benefit from mental health care.

“Screening for depression in all adults, including those who are pregnant and postpartum, and screening for anxiety in adults younger than 65 years can help identify these conditions early so people can connect to care,” said Dr. Lori Pbert, a member of the Working Group, in a statement on the draft recommendation.

The panel includes generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, separation anxiety disorder, phobias, and selective mutism in the anxiety category.

According to the panel, screening and follow-up care can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in most adults. Currently, however, there is not enough evidence to suggest that these tests would benefit people older than 65, the panel found. There is also little evidence that these screening tests work to prevent suicide in people without recognized symptoms.

“The task force cares deeply about the mental health of people across the country,” member Dr. Gbenga Ogedegbe said in the panel’s statement. “Unfortunately, evidence is limited in assessing anxiety in adults aged 65 and older and screening for suicide risk in all adults, so we urgently call for more research.”

Over time, studies of mental illness in the US have confirmed how common it is. In 2020, the National Alliance on Mental Illness reported that a fifth of American adults experienced mental illness. Fewer than half of those adults received treatment, according to NAMI.

The panel recognized that these screenings would be a preliminary measure to help adults experiencing anxiety or depression.

“People who test positive need further evaluation to determine if they have anxiety or depression,” the statement read. “After diagnosis, people should engage in shared decision-making with their healthcare professionals to identify the treatment or combination of treatments that is right for them, and then be continuously monitored to ensure that the chosen treatment is effective.” .

The USTF is an independent panel of volunteer medical experts that makes evidence-based recommendations to improve the health of Americans through preventive clinical care, such as screening, counseling and preventive medications.

The public can comment on the anxiety testing proposal until October 17. here.



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