Primary care screening of depression and treatment engagement in a university health center: A retrospective analysis

Michael C. Klein, Carlo Ciotoli, Henry Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Objectives: This retrospective study analyzed a primary care depression screening initiative in a large urban university health center. Depression detection, treatment status, and engagement data are presented. Participants: Participants were 3,713 graduate and undergraduate students who presented consecutively for primary care services between January and April 2006. Methods: A standardized 2-tiered screening approach for an inception cohort of students utilizing primary services. Primary care providers were trained to triage students with depressive symptoms. Results: Six percent of participants had clinically significant depressive symptoms (CSD). Severe depressive symptoms were found in less than 1.0% of participants. Male rates of severe depressive symptoms were more than double that of females. Only 35.7% of untreated depressed participants started treatment within 30 days following identification. Conclusions: Systematic primary care depression screening in a college health center is a promising approach to identify untreated students with depression. More study is needed to improve rates of treatment engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-295
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • community health
  • counseling
  • gender
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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