Depression and physical illness among elderly general medical clinic patients

W. A. Kukull, T. D. Koepsell, T. S. Inui, S. Borson, J. Okimoto, M. A. Raskind, J. L. Gale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study we conducted a resurvey at 33 months of elderly general medical clinic outpatients previously classified as depressed or not using the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale. Resurvey results and review of medical records permitted characterization of the point prevalences of depression at the time of the initial and follow-up surveys, and identification of physical illness factors associated with depression. The point prevalences of depression were approximately equal (20%), although only about 10% were depressed at both occasions. Among the initially nondepressed, the number of new physical diagnoses during follow-up was the best predictor of depression at retest. Other factors associated with depression at one or both occasions were: alcohol abuse, obstructive pulmonary disease, and a relatively greater number of medical diagnoses. Thus, among elderly outpatients, depression appears common with roughly equal rates of remission and incidence; also, new medical illness may precipitate depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Elderly
  • Epidemiology
  • Physical illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Kukull, W. A., Koepsell, T. D., Inui, T. S., Borson, S., Okimoto, J., Raskind, M. A., & Gale, J. L. (1986). Depression and physical illness among elderly general medical clinic patients. Journal of Affective Disorders, 10(2), 153-162. https://doi.org/10.1016/0165-0327(86)90037-6