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Simple waiting room test can help diagnose depression, anxiety

Patients visiting the hospital for a variety of ailments can be easily screened for depression and anxiety as they wait for care, a new study shows. piloted an electronic questionnaire with patients in six specialty services in three London hospitals: rheumatology, limb reconstruction, hepatitis C, psoriasis, congenital heart disease and chronic pain. Patients were asked to complete questions on a wireless touch-screen device while in the waiting room. The test included questions about depression and anxiety, as well as physical health outcomes and health behaviors. Results were immediately transmitted to the health care provider, who could then discuss them with the patient during the visit. "This makes effective use of waiting room time, and provides useful, usable information in a format which is easy for non-mental health professionals to interpret and act upon," authors note.
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