Major depression in hospitalized medically ill older men: Documentation, management, and outcome
Fifty‐three hospitalized elderly men with medical illness were diagnosed with major depressive disorder and followed up for a mean of 2.3 months. Documentation and management of the depression by medical housestaff during the followup period were examined. There was no note of depression in the medical records of 44% of depressed patients, and depression was on the active problem list of only 32%. Followup and management plans for the depression after discharge were documented in 29%. No form of treatment was prescribed for 44% of depressed patients. Outcomes were determined by psychiatric evaluation at the end of the followup period. Of the 33 patients still alive and evaluated at followup, 64% had persistent depression, 18% improved, and 18% were in complete remission. No baseline patient sociodemographic or health characteristic, including severity of depression, was significantly related to improvement. Likewise, neither extent of documentation nor treatment implemented by housestaff was a significant predictor of outcome. We conclude that serious clinical depression in medically ill older patients may persist for a considerable period after hospital discharge and neither detection nor current management strategies appear to have a major impact on outcome. Copyright © 1992 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Koenig, HG; Goli, V; Shelp, F; Kudler, HS; Cohen, HJ; Blazer, DG
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