To the Editor: The American Heart Association (AHA) recently recommended routine screening for depression in patients with coronary heart disease.1 Shortly thereafter, Dr Thombs and colleagues2 published a systematic review of the research on depression screening and clinical outcomes in cardiovascular patients. They found no studies that evaluated whether routine screening for depression produces better outcomes in patients with heart disease. They concluded that “the adoption of depression screening in cardiovascular care settings . . . would not be likely to benefit patients in the absence of significant changes in current models of care.” We disagree with some of their conclusions.
Carney RM, Freedland KE, Jaffe AS. Depression Screening in Patients With Heart Disease. JAMA. 2009;301(13):1337-1338. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.408