Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Population surveys, service use assessments, and treatment articles that did not describe the mechanism of identification, were excluded.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies comparing the use of general psychometric screening tools, depression-specific tools, reliance on chief complaints, and the use of parent and/or adolescent interview techniques were eligible for inclusion. The included studies evaluated a range of tools and strategies, which were reported in a table.
Reference standard test against which the new test was compared
Studies that clearly defined their 'gold' standard were eligible for inclusion. The gold standard was considered to be assessment by an experienced mental health professional using a high quality assessment technique and gathering information from multiple informants; a structured interview or other similar method could also be used.
Participants included in the review
Studies of adolescents (older than 10 years) were eligible for inclusion. Populations with specific somatic symptoms, physical illness, other risk factors, or including children under 10 years, were excluded. Studies of patients with general psychosocial issues, psychological distress or suicidal behaviour were included only if depression or mood disorders were specifically examined. Where reported, the age of the participants ranged from 11 to 30 years.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies reporting the diagnostic outcome measures of sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV, respectively), or evidence relating to the feasibility, acceptability, cost and outcome for the adolescent, were eligible for inclusion.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the studies were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.