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Med J Aust. 2000 Jul 17;173(2):106-10.

An approach to managing depression in general practice.

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School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.


Detection of depression in primary care can be enhanced by use of self-report assessment forms. With the new classes of antidepressants, there is the opportunity to choose specific drug classes for different types of depressive disorders. Depression is frequently a relapsing illness. Treatment goals should include long term reduction of vulnerability factors. An active therapeutic partnership can be facilitated by providing accurate detailed information early in the course of the illness. Behavioural therapies, which focus on modification of the sleep-wake cycle, activity planning and reduction of substance abuse, are essential. Structured problem solving is the most accessible form of cognitive intervention that general practitioners can readily provide. More complex cognitive therapies are usually provided by mental health professionals or general practitioners with extensive training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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