Last week, after the US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) made a recommendation for increased mental health and depression screening “stories in the New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CNN and Reuters all seemed to accept the premise that a sweeping increase in depression screening is justified,” Alan Cassels points out for the Health News Review. “[M]ost of the coverage was weirdly missing in action on almost everything else that counted in a serious medical screening story: explanations of the potential benefits and harms, the specificity and sensitivity of the tests, the costs of the treatment (and in this case, the myriad of costs of implementing a screening program), and the likelihood that financial conflicts of interest have inevitably tainted the research around screening tools, thus biasing the recommendations that surround them.”
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