Dr. David Grossman, professor of health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health, served on the federal panel that recommended primary-care physicians screen all adults for depression.
Dr. Grossman, also senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute, is co-vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which released a final recommendation January 26 to screen adults for depression. Depression is among the leading causes of disability, and is common in postpartum and pregnant women.
The task force, which published its recommendations in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said it found convincing evidence that screening in primary-care settings improves the accurate identification of adult patients with depression. It also found convincing evidence that treatment with antidepressants, psychotherapy, or both, decreases clinical symptoms. Treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy – which helps patients become aware of their negative thinking – also improves outcomes in pregnant and postpartum women with depression, the panel added.
The task force is an independent panel of 16 nationally recognized experts in prevention who make recommendations based on peer-reviewed evidence. The panel also includes Dr. William R. Phillips, a former clinical professor of health services and epidemiology who retired last year, and Dr. Ann Kurth, dean of the Yale School of Nursing, who is an affiliate professor of global heath at the University Washington.