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Using Assessment Tools to Screen for, Diagnose, and Treat Major Depressive Disorder in Clinical Practice

Alan J. Gelenberg, MD

Published: March 31, 2010

Article Abstract

Depression remains underrecognized and undertreated worldwide, although it is a leading cause of disease burden. Many instruments are available to enhance the assessment of major depressive disorder (MDD) at 3 levels: screening, diagnosing, and monitoring treatment. This article reviews a variety of tools that can be used at each level of assessment as part of a measurement-based care approach to MDD. Measurement-based care for MDD is feasible in clinical practice. Patient self-reports can be used instead of clinician-rated scales to save time, whether in paper, computerized, or interactive voice response formats. Assessment tools are available in many languages. Treatment algorithms can rationalize decision making, and collaborative care can speed and enhance treatment results.

Published online March 31, 2010. The Supplement is available for CME credit until March 31, 2013.

Corresponding author: Alan J. Gelenberg, MD, Department of Psychiatry, H073, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, 500 University Drive, Hershey, PA 17033. (

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