USPSTF Makes Historic Anxiety and Depression Draft Screening Recommendations

For the first time, the USPSTF is recommending anxiety screening for adults under 65.

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) just released a draft recommendation stating that adults under the age of 65 should be screened for anxiety. The USPSTF draft recommendation is not final; it will now enter a public comment period.

The USPSTF draft “concludes with moderate certainty that screening for anxiety in adults, including pregnant and postpartum persons, has a moderate net benefit,” although the evidence for older adults (65 and older) is insufficient. The USPSTF has not previously made a recommendation on this topic.

Prominent risk factors for anxiety disorders include sociodemographic factors, such as female sex, African American race, or poverty; psychosocial factors, like traumatic life events or substance use; and physical and mental health factors, like other psychiatric conditions or family history of mental disorders.

The draft also recommends screening for major depressive disorder in adults, which remains consistent with previous 2016 recommendations for depression screening.

Reference

1. Draft recommendation statement: screening for anxiety in adults. US Preventative Services Task Force. September 20, 2022. https://uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/draft-recommendation/anxiety-adults-screening#citation1