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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 56

of 'Screening for depression in adults'

56
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Primary care patients' reactions to mental health screening.
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Zimmerman M, Lush DT, Farber NJ, Hartung J, Plescia G, Kuzma MA, Lish J
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Int J Psychiatry Med. 1996;26(4):431-41.
 
OBJECTIVE: The authors examined whether there is empirical support for the notion that medical patients are upset by being asked questions about psychiatric disorders.
METHOD: Six hundred and one patients attending a primary care clinic completed the SCREENER-a newly developed, brief self-administered questionnaire that surveys a broad range of psychopathology. In addition, they completed a second questionnaire that assessed their attitudes toward the SCREENER.
RESULTS: We found a high level of acceptance by patients. The questions were judged easy to answer, and they rarely aroused significant negative affect. Fewer than 2 percent of the patients judged the questions difficult to answer, and fewer than 3 percent were "very much" embarrassed, upset, annoyed, or uncomfortable with the questions. Individuals with a history of psychiatric treatment and poorer current mental health reacted more unfavorably to the questionnaire.
CONCLUSIONS: From the patient's perspective, it is feasible and acceptable to use self-administered questionnaires for routine screening of psychiatric problems in primary care settings.
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Rhode Island Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Providence 02903, USA.
PMID