This guideline covers identifying and managing depression in adults aged 18 years and older, in primary and secondary care. It aims to improve care for people with depression by promoting improved recognition and treatment.

In April 2016, recommendation was deleted and replaced with a link to the NICE interventional procedure guidance on repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression.

NICE has also produced a guideline on depression in adults with a chronic physical health problem (NICE guideline CG91).


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • People with depression, their families and carers

Is this guideline up to date?

We reviewed the evidence in December 2013 and we are updating this guideline. See the guideline in development page for progress on the update.

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines 

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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