Screening for depression in urban Latino adolescents

John Rausch, Patricia Hametz, Rachel Zuckerbrot, William Rausch, Karen Soren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose. Investigations were conducted on whether screening for adolescent depression was feasible and acceptable to patients in low-income, urban, predominantly Latino clinics. Further investigations were undertaken for provider acceptance of such screening. Methods. Adolescents aged between 13 and 20 years presenting to 3 pediatric and adolescent primary care practices affiliated with an academic medical center in New York City were screened for depressive symptoms using the Columbia Depression Scale. Providers were surveyed pre- and postimplementation of the screening regarding their attitudes and practices. Results. The vast majority (92%) of those approached accepted the screening. Twelve percent of those screened were referred for mental health treatment. Providers reported satisfaction with the screening tool and a desire to continue to use it. Screening was limited to 24% of eligible participants, and only 10% of screens were at sick visits. Conclusions. The Columbia Depression Scale seems acceptable to adolescent providers and patients in the mostly Latino study population. It may prove to be a helpful tool in evaluating adolescents presenting to primary care for depression. Further study will be required in other Spanish-speaking and minority populations. New methods will also be required to reach a greater proportion of patients, particularly those presenting for sick visits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)964-971
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescent
  • depression
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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