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Internists to Screen for Depression and Anxiety October 6

PHILADELPHIA -- (Sept. 14, 2005) The American College of Physicians (ACP), the national organization of doctors of internal medicine, is encouraging members to screen patients for anxiety and depression as part of a national mental health screening effort on October 6.

ACP is partnering with Screening for Mental Health (SMH) on behalf of the 2005 NDSD Mental Health Screening program, also known as National Depression Screening Day. ACP and SMH are providing more than 3,000 ACP members with an NDSD Primary Care kit for use in screening patients for mood and anxiety disorders.

The screening kits include a 10-point depression screening form that can be completed by patients in the waiting room and placed in their files for review. The kits also include clinical guidance for physicians.

Although October 6 has been designated as the screening day, physicians can hold screening days at other times. Physicians or other health professionals who want to order downloadable screening materials can browse online.

ACP has co-sponsored the NDSD Primary Care Outreach program since 1998. Participating ACP members have reported that the screening program was helpful in identifying patients with mood and anxiety disorders who might otherwise have gone undetected.

The American College of Physicians has resources for its members and others on its Web sites www.acponline.org and doctorsforadults.com. An ACP patient education brochure on depression can be downloaded here. ACP also has a booklet, “Celebrating Life: A Guide to Depression for African Americans,” that accompanies a video program of the same name. The booklet can be downloaded here, and the video is available for a $2 shipping fee , or by contacting ACP Customer Service at 800-523-1546, ext. 2600, or 215-351-2600.

Members of the American College of Physicians have access to updated Web-based clinical decision-making tools and links to patient information on depression and other mood disorders via PIER, the Physician’s Information and Education Resource. An ACP Key Diseases Series book, “Depression,” edited by James L. Levenson, MD, is available at ACPOnline or by contacting ACP Customer Service at the above numbers.

ACP (Doctors of Internal Medicine. Doctors for Adults.) is the largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States. Membership includes more than 119,000 internists, related subspecialists, medical students, residents and fellows. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses in adults.

The American College of Physicians was founded in 1915 to promote the science and practice of medicine. In 1998 it merged with the American Society of Internal Medicine, which was established in 1956 to study economic aspects of medicine. ACP works to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine.

Lynda Teer, 215-351-2655 or 800-523-1546, ext. 2655
E-mail lteer@acponline.org

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