NICE advice that clinicians should be alert to possible depression (particularly in people with a past history of depression or a chronic physical health problem with associated functional impairment) and consider asking people who may have depression two questions, specifically:
during the last month, have you often been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless?
during the last month, have you often been bothered by having little interest or pleasure in doing things?
if the person answers 'yes' to either question
a practitioner who is competent in mental health assessment should:
review the person's mental state and associated functional, interpersonal and social difficulties
consider using a validated measure for symptoms, functions and/or disability
a practitioner who is not competent in mental health assessment should:
refer the person to an appropriate professional - if this is not the person's GP, inform the GP
when assessing a person with suspected depression, consider using a validated measure (for example, for symptoms, functions and/or disability) to inform and evaluate treatment
for people with significant language or communication difficulties, for example people with sensory impairments or a learning disability, consider using the Distress Thermometer and/or asking a family member or carer about the person's symptoms to identify possible depression. If a significant level of distress is identified, investigate further