Depressed Seniors in Primary Care Benefit Most From Team Approach

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Depression Treatment in Elderly

Depressed older adults being treated in primary care settings do better with psychosocial therapies than with antidepressant medicines, suggests a new review of evidence.

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Furthermore, older adults with depression have the best response when these cognitive-behavioral therapies are delivered by interdisciplinary health teams, say reviewers led by psychologist Karyn Skultety.

The review recommends this integrated approach instead of the more conventional focus on antidepressant medications.

The suggestion is based on only eight studies, yet, "We think the findings give us some valuable information on what works," says Skultety, who works in the Veterans Administration Palo Alto Health Care System in California.

The reviewers also note that older adults prefer to seek help for depression from primary care physicians, and that many prefer psychosocial treatments. "They are

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