The panel recommends anxiety screening for adults under the age of 65

The panel recommends anxiety screening for adults under the age of 65


As the latest polls show high levels of anxiety and depression among Americans The US Task Force on Prevention (USTF) has recommended depression screening for all adults and anxiety screening for those younger than 65 years of age without noticeable symptoms.

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

“Screening all adults for depression, including pregnant and postpartum, and screening adults younger than 65 for anxiety can help identify these conditions early so people can be connected to care,” said task force member Dr. Laurie Pbert. 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 experts, screening and follow-up can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in most adults. However, there is currently insufficient evidence that these checks will benefit people over the age of 65, the group found. There is also little evidence that these screenings will work to prevent suicide in those without obvious symptoms.

“The task force is very concerned about the mental health of people across the country,” member Dr. Gbenga Ugedegbe said in a statement from the group. “Unfortunately, the evidence for screening adults 65 and older for anxiety and screening all adults for suicide risk is limited, so we urgently need more research.”

Over time, studies of mental illness in the U.S. have confirmed how common it is. In 2020, the National Alliance on Mental Illness reported that a fifth of American adults suffered from mental illness. According to NAMI, less than half of these adults received treatment.

The Commission recognized that these reviews would be an early intervention for adults experiencing anxiety or depression.

“People who test positive need further evaluation to determine if they have anxiety or depression,” the statement said. “Once diagnosed, people should engage in shared decision-making with their healthcare professionals to determine the treatment or combination of treatments that is right for them, and then be monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure that the chosen treatment is working.”

The USTF is an independent group of volunteer medical experts that provides evidence-based recommendations to improve the health of Americans through preventive clinical care such as screenings, counseling and preventive medicine.

The public can comment on the alarm test proposal until October 17 here.

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