Working with older patients for 22 years, I've always been concerned about undiagnosed depression, which can affect quality of life and increase risk of death, as described by Dr. Cahoon.
Depression often goes undertreated in older adults because primary care providers may be unprepared to recognize and treat it.1, 2 Fuentes has suggested that collaborative teams that include primary care and mental health providers be established to help improve the follow-up care given to older patients.1
Faride Renard, BSN, RN
1. Fuentes LA. Depression in primary care: the evidence supporting the need for system change The Internet Journal of Advanced Nursing Practice [electronic resource]. 2009;10(2):1–11
2. Lawrence RE, et al. Primary care physicians' and psychiatrists' approaches to treating mild depression Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2012;126(5):385–92