Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Screening in High Schools to Identify, Evaluate and Lower Depression (SHIELD)

14 public high schools
13,000 students impacted

The Health Resources & Services Administration and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute are funding two distinct but complementary studies to examine the effectiveness of school-based screening for adolescent depression. The studies will impact nearly 13,000 high school students in 15 public senior high school across Pennsylvania.

Students will complete a brief depression screen, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, which will accompany other routine health screens (hearing, vision). Those with a “positive screen” will enter the school Student Assistance Program (SAP) similar to students who are currently referred for observable behaviors of concern.

The primary outcome is the number of students identified with depression who subsequently engage in treatment.

Prior to screenings PRO Wellness staff works with individual schools to ensure they are well-equipped to manage any increase in SAP utilization and to establish an operational crisis response plan.


SHIELD Qualitative brief

The learnings from this program were published within:

SHIELD e-newsletters: