Understanding Screening Tools

A survey before your visit helps our team understand your needs.

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Curious about your mental health? Try this test.

Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are real, common and treatable. Recovery is possible. An online screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you have symptoms of a mental health condition. 

What to expect during a patient screening

At your first appointment, our front desk staff will hand you a tablet and ask you to do a patient screening in the waiting room. This is a multiple-choice questionnaire given to every patient at least once a year. The screening takes about 10 to 20 minutes to complete, and it gives your provider many details to help you with your overall health. You’ll answer questions about your emotions, exercise and sleeping habits, drug and alcohol use and other lifestyle choices. The questions are personal and can be sensitive, but they are absolutely private between you and your providers.

A patient screening is a very helpful tool for you and your provider. It can reveal common mental health problems that could be affecting your health – even if your visit is only about a physical concern. For example, adults may have anxiety, depression or substance use. Children may have anxiety, attention disorders, or other mental health problems. People with common physical concerns, like diabetes, heart disease or sleeping disorders can also have mental health concerns. If your body and mind are addressed at the same time, you’ll feel better faster.

Providers may want to learn more about you after the initial patient screening. They may ask you to take other tests, such as:

  • PHQ-9: This is a 9-question tool that can help you explore whether your feelings, thoughts or behaviors could be depression. It can also help you monitor the severity of your depression and your response to treatment. Scores on this tool range from 0 to 27. Based on this score, we can tell you whether you fall into the low (5-9), medium (10-14) or high (15-27) depression severity range. Then we can provide you with recommendations for next steps. Regardless of your score, talk to your doctor if you think you may be suffering from symptoms of depression.
  • AUDIT: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a simple and effective method of screening for unhealthy alcohol use, defined as risky or hazardous consumption or any alcohol use disorder.
  • DAST-10: Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST) helps providers identify patients who are abusing drugs. The assessment tool may be used by providers or self-administered by patients. This tool measures the patient’s recognition of consequences related to drug use.
  • Social Determinants of Health Screening: Good health includes your quality of life. This includes housing, food, utilities, safety, transportation and relationships. Our team may ask you to use a tool called Accountable Health Communities Model (AHCM) to look at these areas of your life. Based on the results, our care team can have meaningful conversations with you about your unique situation during your visit. They can also help you find ways to improve your quality of life.

Axis Health System is a provider of Colorado Crisis System Services. Funded in part by the Colorado Department of Human Services. 

Axis Health System complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Axis Health System does not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. For more information, click here.