New NHS guidance is calling for depression screening in patients suffering from illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Recent research has shown that patients suffering from these issues are at a high risk for depression and do not get proper care for the same.
Therefore a new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) calls on GPs to screen such patients. The guidance says doctors must ask two questions to assess if their patients are depressed. These include "During the last month, have you often been bothered by feeling down depressed or hopeless? ... or have you had little interest or pleasure in doing things?"
If the answer to any of the above questions is affirmative, then the patient must be referred to a specialist. The guidance also says that antidepressants can be given in severe depression, but should not be prescribed routinely.