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Online tool will predict depression

Rebecca Thomson

Scientists have developed anonline tool to predict the onset of depression.

Academics at University College London (UCL) developed the tool, which will be used to identify those at risk of depression, who may benefit from prevention.

The team developed a risk algorithm based on models used for detecting patients at risk from heart disease. It has been tested on 6,000 people across Europe.

Professor Michael King, UCL Department of Mental Health Sciences, said,"Risk tools such as ours are needed to focus more effort on preventing depression. For example, people identified as at risk by an online tool could be flagged on a GP's computer."

The next stage of the team's research will establish how GPs could use the tool to help prevent the onset of depression. The team is hoping to run a large-scale trial to explore the tool's use in prevention.


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