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

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

Author information

1
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

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

METHOD:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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.

PMID:
10207741
DOI:
10.2190/G23R-NGGN-K1P1-MQ8N
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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