Treating Depression in Older Adults: Challenges to Implementing the Recommendations of an Expert Panel

Snowden M, Steinman L, Frederick J. Prev Chronic Dis 2008;5(1). reported in Preventing Chronic Disease; Public Health Research, Practice and Policy, Vol 5, No. 1, January, 2008, by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NIH, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Report of a scientific study of the effectiveness of alternative methods of treating late-life depression among older adults. The rationale for this study was that: “Depression is increasingly recognized as a significant public health problem among older adults. Because the condition is highly treatable and currently under treated among community-based older adults, late-life depression is an appropriate focus for disease prevention programs.” The study found that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is an effective means of treating depression in elder adults, stating, in part, “At the end of this two-stage project, the researcher-practitioner expert panel … recommended cognitive behav¬ioral therapy (CBT) as treatment for depression in older adults.”

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