Depression screening and management among adolescents in primary care: Factors associated with best practice

Lindsay A. Taliaferro, Joel Hetler, Glenace Edwall, Catherine Wright, Anne R. Edwards, Iris W. Borowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective. To compare depression identification and management perceptions and practices between professions and disciplines in primary care and examine factors that increase the likelihood of administering a standardized depression screening instrument, asking about patients' depressive symptoms, and using best practice when managing depressed adolescents. Methods. Data came from an online survey of clinicians in Minnesota (20% response rate). Analyses involved bivariate tests and linear regressions. Results. The analytic sample comprised 260 family medicine physicians, 127 pediatricians, 96 family nurse practitioners, and 54 pediatric nurse practitioners. Overall, few differences emerged between physicians and nurse practitioners or family and pediatric clinicians regarding addressing depression among adolescents. Two factors associated with administering a standardized instrument included having clear protocols for follow-up after depression screening and feeling better prepared to address depression among adolescents. Conclusions. Enhancing clinicians' competence to address depression and developing postscreening protocols could help providers implement universal screening in primary care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-567
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was funded in part through contracts from the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The first author’s time was partially supported through funds from the Healthy Youth Development—Prevention Research Center, University of Minnesota, Cooperative Agreement Number 5U48DP001939 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (PI: Resnick).


  • adolescent
  • depression
  • primary health care
  • screening


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