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Adding a question that asks whether help is wanted improves sensitivity of a depression screening tool

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Q Does adding a question asking whether help is needed to a two-question screening tool assist doctors to diagnose people with depression?


Embedded ImageDesign:

Prospective cohort study.

Embedded ImageSetting:

Six general practice clinic waiting rooms, New Zealand.

Embedded ImagePatients:

1025 consecutive people waiting to see a doctor for no pre-specified clinical reason. Exclusion: people using psychotropic medication.

Embedded ImageTest:

The screening tool consisted of three questions; two developed from the Prime MD-questionnaire which asked “During the past month have you often been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless?” and “During the past month have you often been bothered by little interest or pleasure in …

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  • For correspondence: Professor B Arroll, Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand; b.arroll{at}

  • Source of funding: Oakley Mental Health Foundation, New Zealand.