This document was prepared at the request of the Depression Panel of the Office of the Forum for Quality and Effectiveness in Health Care within the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, an agency of the U. S. Public Health Service. The panel was charged to develop clinical practice guidelines for the management of depression to be used by general medical and family medicine practitioners in primary care settings. The form of the panel’s questions shaped the introductory portion of the document. After receiving the questions posed by the panel (which are stated later in this document), it was necessary to define the context of the use of occupation and occupational therapy to broaden the panel’s understanding of these terms.

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