This article describes the update of the 2009 US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation on screening for major depressive disorder (MDD) in children and adolescents.


The USPSTF reviewed the evidence on the benefits and harms of screening, accuracy of primary care–feasible screening tests, and benefits and harms of treatment with psychotherapy, medications, and collaborative care models in patients aged 7 to 18 years.


This recommendation applies to children and adolescents aged ≤18 years who do not have an MDD diagnosis.


The USPSTF recommends screening for MDD in adolescents aged 12 to 18 years. Screening should be implemented with adequate systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up (B recommendation). The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for MDD in children aged ≤11 years (I statement).

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