Clarion calls about enhancing detection and management of depression in primary care have reiterated several truisms: Depression is as prevalent as many common medical disorders, treatable yet frequently undertreated, responsible for enormous occupational and social impairment as well as adverse effects on the costs, treatment outcomes, and mortality of comorbid medical diseases.1 Depression is second only to low back pain in years lived with disability (YLD), a metric that incorporates disease prevalence, age of onset, chronicity, and impairment. The YLDs attributable to depression exceed those accounted for by diabetes, ischemic heart disease, stroke, and chronic kidney disease combined.2 The primary care setting is where the majority of patients with depression first present with their symptoms and where many receive their initial and often only treatment.
Kroenke K. The Role of Decision Aids in Depression Care. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(11):1770-1772. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.5243