Comparison of older depressed hospitalized patients with and without heart failure/pulmonary disease.
Test the hypothesis that depressed hospitalized patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) and/or chronic pulmonary disease (CPD) are no different from depressed patients with other medical disorders, and so can be treated similarly. Consenting patients aged 50 or over consecutively admitted to the medical services at Duke University Medical Center and three community hospitals were screened for depressive disorder using the Structured Clinical Interview for Depression (SCID-IV). Characteristics of patients reflecting vulnerability, stressors, and coping resources were assessed. CHF/CPD patients with major (n = 413) and minor (n = 587) depression were compared to depressed patients with other medical disorders (n = 63). Among those with major depression, patients with CHF/CPD differed from those with other medical disorders in having less severe depression and less severe cognitive impairment, but greater physical illness severity. Among those with minor depression, CHF/CPD patients tended to be older and, as with major depression, had less severe depression and more severe medical illness. These findings were largely confirmed when CHF and CPD patients were examined separately. Depressive disorders in CHF/CPD patients are similar to those in patients with other medical disorders. However, they may be associated with less severe depressive symptoms and more severe physical illness than depressed patients with other medical disorders. These findings help to identify the unique ways in which depressive disorder manifests itself in hospitalized patients with chronic heart and lung disease that may impact their management.
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