Benefits Of Screening For Childhood Depression
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) is supported by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and reports to U.S. Congress every year. On Feb 9th 2016, the Task Force recommended screening adolescents’ ages 12 to 18 for major depressive disorder (MDD) generally called depression. Also, the Task Force found that there was not enough evidence to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for depression in children 11 years old and younger.
Under this recommendation, children 11 years or younger are disadvantaged for not being screened for depression and ultimately remain undiagnosed for a while. I urge everyone to look at this issue with a different lens because children …show more content…
I believe that screening for depression in children 11 years and younger must be conducted to ensure timely diagnosis and provide necessary treatment and therapy.
This issue is important to people from all walks of life. I recommend three things to do as citizens, parents, healthcare professionals, school teachers, or whatnot, and advocate for including screening for childhood depression for children ages 11 years and younger, depending on their cognitive developmental stage in life-
• As we know, schools play a vital role in child development and behavior shaping. Children 5-18 years old spend most of their time in schools, their teachers serve as a valuable source of information and should participate in complete evaluation process if possible. I recommend having a quarterly check-in with behavioral health specialist on site for routine assessment. The tools such as questionnaires (for both the child, parents, and guardian) and interviews by a mental health professional have shown results. Another form of the questionnaire, Beck 's Depression Inventory, a 21 questions form which diagnoses the level of depression for children ages 11-18 years must be considered. I encourage parents to advocate the use of this questionnaire for children aged 8-18 years. I want the mental health practitioners to be able to use the questionnaires to younger …show more content…
For this reason, both parents and the child must attend the psychoeducational session together. I urge you all to advocate psychoeducational family sessions to your family practitioner and your local government official.
Early screening is advantageous, but it is hard to accurately evaluate all the symptoms because sometimes they overlap with symptoms of other disorders. But I think that careful analysis and observation of the child 's activities and behaviors can tremendously help in making a diagnosis. There are no specific tests medical or psychological that can clearly show childhood depression. But tools such as questionnaires (for both the child, parents, and guardian) and interviews by a mental health professional that include taking a careful history can help to make an accurate diagnosis.
Undoubtedly, we need to work on the above-mentioned suggestions to provide the Task Force enough information or evidence to change their recommendation to U.S. Congress in future and assess the benefits of screening for depression in children 11 years old and