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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2006 Nov;14(11):966-75.

The prognosis of major and minor depression in older medical inpatients.

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Department of Psychiatry, St Mary's Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



Major and minor depression is frequent in older medical inpatients, but the prognosis of these two disorders is not clear. The current study proposed to determine the prognosis of major and minor depression in this population.


This prospective, observational cohort study, conducted in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, involved assessment of 380 elderly medical inpatients with major, minor, or no depression at three, six, and 12 months after enrollment using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria. Information on suicide attempts, completed suicides, and potential prognostic factors was also collected. Analysis of outcomes and potential prognostic factors involved descriptive statistics and multiple logistic regression.


Among patients with major depression at enrollment, 13% were recovered, 14% were partially recovered, and 73% remained depressed with a protracted stable or protracted fluctuating course. Among patients with minor depression, 28% were recovered and 72% had a protracted course. Patients diagnosed with major depression at enrollment often had minor depression at follow up and vice versa.


The prognosis of both major and minor depression in older medical inpatients is poor and worse than previously thought.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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