Test checks waiting room patients for depression, anxiety
Patients at the doctor’s office or in a hospital waiting room could be screened for depression and anxiety by taking a newly-developed test as they wait for appointments, according to a new study.
The test was created by researchers from King’s College London University. In the study, an electronic questionnaire was given to patients in three different hospitals waiting for six different services, including hepatitis C, psoriasis and chronic pain. The questionnaire was given on a wireless touch-screen device and included questions about depression and anxiety, physical health and health behaviors. The results were immediately sent to the patients’ health care provider to be discussed soon after as part of the visit.
From the results, published in General Hospital Psychiatry, researchers also observed the prevalence of depression and anxiety among patients being treated for various conditions. According to the study’s researchers, the waiting room test could be an effective way to screen for mental health issues and encourage treatment for patients at an early stage.