Treatment up for U.S. adults who screen positive for depression

(HealthDay)—From 2007 to 2016, there was an increase in the proportion of adults who screened positive for depression receiving any treatment, according to a research letter published online July 1 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Taeho Greg Rhee, Ph.D., from the University of Connecticut in Farmington, and colleagues used 2007 to 2016 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to examine the changes in the prevalence of a positive screen for depression and receipt of treatment for depression among those who screened positive.

The researchers observed no significant change in the prevalence of U.S. adults who screened positive for depression from 2007-2008 to 2015-2016 (8.3 to 7.5 percent; adjusted odds ratio for time trends, 0.91; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.70 to 1.18). From 2007-2008 to 2015-2016, there was an increase in the overall proportion of adults who received any treatment for depression, from 43.5 to 52.9 percent; with the trend mainly due to both use of antidepressant therapy and contact with a mental health professional. The likelihood of receiving treatment was increased in association with having any health insurance (adjusted odds ratio, 1.70; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.49 to 1.94); following adjustment for survey year, this association was attenuated, but remained significant (adjusted odds ratio, 1.25; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.05 to 1.49).

“Further research is needed to evaluate the potential causal role of the Affordable Care Act and whether increased depression treatment was associated with improved outcomes,” the authors write.

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