Close×

Many adults who screen positive for depression don't receive any treatment for the condition at all, says a recent study.

A study suggests gaps exist in the treatment of depression with many individuals who screen positive for the mental health disorder not receiving treatment, according to an article published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Mark Olfson, M.D., M.P.H., of Columbia University, New York, and coauthors analysed data from 46,417 adult responses to Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys in 2012 and 2013. Of the 46,417 adults, 8.4 percent screened positive for depression and only 28.7 percent of those adults received any treatment for depression. Antidepressants were the most common treatment for depression followed by psychotherapy.

General medical professionals treated most people with depression; while patients with serious distress who were treated for depression were more likely to be treated by a psychiatrist than those patients with less distress. Publicly insured individuals had some of the highest percentages of depression treatment, while some of the lowest percentages were among uninsured adults, racial and ethnic minorities and men, the authors report.