adult screening programme


Depression is a common mental health condition and one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. People who are depressed may have feelings of extreme sadness that can last for a long time and can be severe enough to interfere with daily life.

Read more about depression on the NHS website.

UK NSC screening recommendation Based on the last UK NSC review of this condition that occurred in July 2020.

Screening is not currently recommended for this condition.

The UK NSC carried out an evidence review in 2020 for screening for depression in adults.

The recommendation remains that screening is not recommended because:

  • the test would wrongly identify a large number of people as having depression
  • it is uncertain if screening would reduce the negative impact of depression
  • it is not known if treating milder depression reduces the development of more severe depression in the longer term
  • it is unclear how well depression is identified and managed in the UK at present

National clinical guidelines on recognition and management of depression in adults are available to inform practice.

Supporting documents from the 2020 review

Screening for Depression Evidence Review Summary final for publication
This document provides the evidence on which the current UK NSC recommendation is based.

Screening for Depression Coversheet UK NSC 15 07 2020 Redacted
This document summarises the review process including the public consultation comments.

Review cycle

Date previous review completed: 2020

Next review estimated to be completed: 2023 to 2024.

To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.

Organisations interested in Depression

These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.

List of organisations

If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us.