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Study finds most Americans who screen positive for depression do not receive treatment

Source:  Health Policy Institute of Ohio

A study released this week found that most Americans who screen positive for depression don’t receive treatment — while most who did receive treatment don’t actually have the condition (Source: “Screening Positive For Depression Doesn’t Mean You’ll Get Treatment, Study Finds,” Kaiser Health News, Aug. 29, 2016).

According to the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, of the 46,417 adults surveyed as part of Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys in 2012 and 2013, 8.4 percent answered in ways that suggested they had depression, but only 28.7 percent of them received any treatment for it.

Adults in the lowest income group were five times more likely to be depressed compared with those in the highest income group. But they, along with uninsured adults, racial and ethnic minorities, and men, were also less likely to receive treatment.

On the other hand, among the 8.1 percent of adults who received treatment for depression, only 29.9 percent of them had depression and 21.8 percent of them had serious psychological distress.

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