Key Points

Eight to twenty percent of community dwelling older adults experience depression.  Older adults often present depression atypically with reports of numerous somatic complaints including pain.  There are several reliable and validated tools which can assist in the diagnosis of depression in older adults.  Learn more about the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of this condition.

Files

Depression in the Elderly Handout

Depression in the Older Adult Powerpoint

Mental Health in Aging Powerpoint

References

Alexopoulos, G. (2005). Depression in the Elderly. The Lancet; 365:1961-1970. 

Areán, P.A., & Cook, B.L. (2002) Psychotherapy and combined psychotherapy/pharmacotherapy for late life depression. Biological Psychiatry; 52:293. 

Bao, Y., Post, E.P., Ten, T.R., et al. (2009). Achieving effective antidepressant pharmacotherapy in primary care: the role of depression care management in treating late-life depression. Journal of the American Geriatric Society; 57:895 

Beyer J. (2007). Managing Depression in Geriatric Populations. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry; 19(4):221-238. 

Bruce, M.L., Ten Have, T.R., Reynolds, C.F. et al. (2004). Reducing suicidal ideation and depressive symptoms in depressed older primary care patients: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association; 291:1081. 

Delgado-Guay, M., Parsons, H., Li, Z., et al. (2009). The association between anxiety, depression, and physical symptoms in patients with advanced cancer. Support Care Cancer; 17:573-579. 

Hoyl, M.T., Alessi, C.A., Harker, J.O., et al. (1999). Development and testing of a five-item version of the Geriatric Depression Scale. Journal of the American Geriatric Society; 47:873. 

Licht-Strunk, E., Van Marwijk, H.W., Hoekstra, T., et al. (2009). Outcome of depression in later life in primary care: Longitudinal cohort study with three years' follow-up. British Medical Journal; 338:a3079. 

Lloyd-Williams, M., Dennis, M., & Taylor, F. (2004). A prospective study to determine the association between physical symptoms and depression in patients with advanced cancer. Palliative Medicine; 18:558-563. 

Pinquart, M., Duberstein, P.R., & Lyness, J.M. (2006). Treatments for later-life depressive conditions: a meta-analytic comparison of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. American Journal of Psychiatry; 163:1493. 

Sjösten, N., Kivelä, S.L. (2006). The effects of physical exercise on depressive symptoms among the aged: a systematic review. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry; 21:410. 

Thielke, S.M., Fan, M.Y., Sullivan, M., & Unützer, J. (2007). Pain limits the effectiveness of collaborative care for depression. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry; 15:699. 

Vignaroli, E., Pace, E., Willey, J., et al. (2006). The Edmonton Symptom Assessment as a Screening Tool for Depression and Anxiety. Journal of Palliative Medicine; 9:296-303.