Background Depression is more prevalent in those with chronic ill-health. Screening for depression in patients with diabetes and ischaemic heart disease was included in the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) in 2006.Aim To investigate if screening in accordance with theQOFleads to improved detection and treatment of depression in the target groups.Method We conducted an audit of records in a single semi-rural general practice. Records of patients in the target groups for the year ending 31 March 2007 were audited to calculate the proportions of patients who were screened, detected to have depression and received treatment.Results Out of 435 eligible patients, 365 (84%) were screened. Of those not currently depressed or under treatment for depression, only three patients (1%) screened positive. None were subsequently diagnosed as having depression.Conclusion Screening in our practice did not result in any new diagnoses of depression. It remains to be seen whether depression screening in other practices will result in substantial improvement in the identification and treatment of depression in high-risk groups.
Kevork Hopayian, Deepak N Subramanian