Treating depression in primary care: An innovative role for mental health nurses
Late-life depression is common in primary care. However, because of barriers such as stigma and the assumption that depression in older adults is a normal part of aging, it is often underrecognized and undertreated. Further, most primaty care providers do not have the time or resources to provide adequate follow-up depression care. By integrating a depression clinical specialist into the primary care setting, many of these barriers to effective treatment can be addressed. In this paper, a collaborative, stepped care treatment program witb registered nurses practicing as depression clinical specialists is describe. Additionally, three case reports illustrate the model. This intervention program offers a unique opportunity for mental health nurses to practice collaboratively in the primary care setting and to provide much needed care to an underserved population.
Saur, CD; Harpole, LH; Steffens, DC; Fulcher, CD; Porterfield, Y; Haverkamp, R; Kivett, D; Unützer, J
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