Updated in 2/12/2014 8:11:44 PM      Viewed: 46 times      (Journal Article)
Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners 10 (11): 503-7 (1998)

Depression in the elderly: a review.

D J Ruggles
Although there is a plethora of literature regarding depression in the elderly, recognition of its existence remains a primary problem. Recognizing depression is paramount in the elderly. There is significant mortality and morbidity associated with elderly depression. The assumption that depression is a normal aging process must be changed. This should be done by educating the public and the practitioner. Appropriate screening tools should be administered on a regular basis regardless of the reason the elderly person is seeking care. These would include the Mini-Mental State Examination and a depression scale of the practitioner's choice. Baseline information should be gathered in order to provide data for further examination and continuity of care. This would be beneficial to determine the presence of a decline in either mental or cognitive states. There is evidence of gaps in the research related to depression in the elderly. Studies related to cognition and depression have contradictory results. Various limitations in the studies, such as sample size and the presence of cognitive impairment prior to the study, could account for this. Replication of these studies and further research in cognition and depression in the elderly is warranted.
ISSN: 1041-2972