PHILADELPHIA, March 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- POPULATION HEALTH COLLOQUIUM – In the most recent NIMH report, 6.7 percent of U.S. adults had experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, but that statistic may be much higher according to Wellsource, a premier provider of evidenced-based Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) and self-management tools. Drawn from a sample of 1.6 million HRAs, the company's data shows that more than 17 percent of the population set identified as high risk for depression based on feeling down, depressed or hopeless, with serious implications for workforce productivity and healthcare costs.
"Unlike monitoring health conditions with electronic devices or blood tests, determining depression risk relies on self-reported information only individuals can provide, and our HRAs use a scientifically validated approach to capture extra details for effective intervention," said Dr. Brittany U. Carter, Director of Health and Research for Wellsource. "Our HRAs account for an individual's characteristics and culture, which increases participation and minimizes bias," Carter said. "We ask questions in a specific order, using branching logic to offer a personalized experience and increase engagement, making the information more useful to individuals and population health managers."
Wellsource data also identified an additional 32 percent of individuals with one or more lifestyle factors associated with an increased risk for depression, such as binge drinking (13%), lack of social support (11%), pain (9%), or low energy (7%). This suggests that while 17% of the population was identified as high risk for depression, lifestyle factors may suggest a much higher number. Discovering population details like this might at first alarm health and wellness managers, but Dr. Carter says it offers opportunities for action.
"While there has been understandable concern about the validity of self-reported data, depending on how and in what situation it's collected, the reality is that analyzing lifestyle behaviors can identify those at risk for a range of conditions, from depression to diabetes to heart disease," said Dr. Carter. "Our solution's evidence-based scoring proprietary algorithm, backed by NCQA certification, identifies the highest risks so wellness managers can intervene for positive outcomes. With the CDC estimating 200 million lost workdays due to depression, the potential for improvement is substantial."
Dr. Carter is presenting on the importance of person-centered data at the Nineteenth Population Health Colloquium in Philadelphia, Pa., March 18-19, at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Titled "The Most Important Data Set for Population Health Success," the presentation is part of Workshop Track III: Leveraging Technology and Accessing the Data, an expert panel starting at 3:30 p.m. on March 19.
Wellsource Inc. has been a premier provider of evidence-based health risk assessments (HRAs) and self-management tools for four decades. With a strong reputation for scientific research and validity, the company offers an innovative family of products that empower wellness companies, health plans, ACOs and healthcare providers to inspire healthy lifestyles, prevent disease and reduce unnecessary healthcare costs. Wellsource's assessments connect lifestyle choices with healthy outcomes, measure readiness to change for maximum results and drive informed decisions with actionable data. For more information about Wellsource products, please visit www.wellsource.com or connect with Wellsource at [email protected].