Recognition of depression in medical patients with heart failure.
The author examined physician and patient factors related to recognition of depression in depressed medical patients. Medical inpatients over age 50 were systematically identified with depressive disorder (N=1,000). Medical physicians (N=422) treating these patients were asked whether they believed patients had depression warranting specific treatment. Frequency of seeing and treating older depressed patients and attitudes toward treatment effectiveness were key factors related to physicians' recognition of depression. Patient factors were younger age, white race, female gender, and persistence of depression after discharge. Although physicians' intuition about depression course was often correct, persistent depression was not recognized in nearly 40% of patients.
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