Doctors struggle to diagnose depression
DOCTORS have difficulty diagnosing patients with and without depression, research suggested yesterday.
A study in The Lancet, which looked at research papers involving more than 50,000 patients, found that GPs looking for depression made more wrong diagnoses that the number they correctly spotted.
The researchers, from the University of Leicester, said that better accuracy could be achieved by reassessing patients with suspected depression.
The study looked at the results from 41 trials. The researchers found that GPs were able to recognise about half of people who had clinical depression.
They said: "Our findings should not be interpreted as a criticism of GPs for failing to diagnose depression but rather a call for better understanding of the problems that non-specialists face.
"No data suggest that GPs do worse than other non-psychiatric medical colleagues."
The researchers suggested that extra consultation time should be available for patients suspected of having depression: "Repeated assessments by the GP or other professional in a collaborative model with a case manager might help to reduce diagnostic errors and improve overall quality of care."
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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