Brief Approach to Mental Health Screening

  • Michael V. Bloom
  • David A. Smith


Although most family physicians acknowledge the importance of screening for mental health problems, in fact few have a systematic way to pursue this goal. Despite the fact there are well studied, effective screening tools such as Prime-MD, screening is seldom undertaken. There are rational reasons why family physicians do not use such instruments. Prime-MD is a good example. It comprises 16 questions, which is time-consuming; and it is difficult to fit into a typical health care maintenance visit in a busy family physician’s practice.


Suicidal Ideation Family Physician Adjustment Disorder Mental Health Screening Early Morning Awakening 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beresford T, Blow FC, Hill E, Singer K, Lucey MR (1990) Comparison of CAGE questionnaire and computer-assisted laboratory profiles in screening for covert alcoholism. Lancet 336:482–485.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berwick D, Murphy JM, Goldman P, Ware J, Barsky A, Weinstein M (1991) Performance of a five-item mental health screening test. Med Care 296:169–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown RL, Leonard T, Saunders LA, Papasouliotis O (1997) A two-item screening test for alcohol and other drug problems. J Fam Pract 44:151–160.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Fleming MF (1993) Screening and brief intervention for alcohol disorders. J Fam Pract 37:231–234.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Holmes TH, Rahe RH (1967) The social readjustment rating scale. J Psychosom 11:213–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Isaacson J, Butler R, Zacharek M, Tzelepis A (1994) Screening with the alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT) in an inner-city population. J Gen Intern Med 9:550–553.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kitchens JM (1994) Does this patient have an alcohol problem? JAMA 272:1782–1787.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Spitzer R, Kroenke K, Williams J (1999) Validation and utility of a self-report version of PRIME-MD. JAMA 282:1737–1744.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Spitzer R, Williams J, Kroenke K, et al (1994) Utility of a new procedure for diagnosing mental disorders in primary care. JAMA 272:1749–1756.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Taj N, Devera-Sales A, Vinson DC (1998) Screening for problems drinking: does a single question work? J Fam Pract 46:328–335.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael V. Bloom
    • 1
  • David A. Smith
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Sioux Falls Family Practice ResidencySioux FallsUSA
  2. 2.College of MedicineTexas A&M UniversityUSA
  3. 3.BrownwoodUSA

Personalised recommendations