Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Psychiatry Med. 1998;28(4):421-36.

Characteristics and course of major depression in older primary care patients.

Author information

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, USA.



Identify the morbidity patterns displayed by older primary care patients experiencing depressive symptomatology who do and do not meet criteria for a major depression.


Patients ages sixty and older presenting at two ambulatory internal medicine centers were administered the CES-D. Among those scoring > or = 11, 104 completed a comprehensive assessment of their psychiatric symptomatology, medical illness, and functional abilities. The assessment battery was again administered six months later.


The point prevalence of major depression in older primary care patients is estimated at 9 percent based on SCID interviews. Patients meeting criteria for this diagnosis compared to those who are symptomatic but not experiencing a major depression described more extensive psychopathology but also significantly more limitations in performing social and functional roles. At six-month follow-up, only 11.5 percent of those initially diagnosed with a major depression were considered fully recovered.


Major depression is a prevalent disorder in older primary care patients which affects their ability to perform expected social and physical roles. Mechanisms for delivering efficacious treatments in routine medical practice are of a high priority.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center