Consensus Statement on Depression in the Elderly

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A consensus meeting of experts in the treatment of depression was held with the aim of providing primary care clinicians with a better understanding of depression in the elderly and to guide clinical practice with recommendations on management issues. The consensus statement is based on consideration of the review articles published in this supplement and the scientific literature relevant to these articles. The consensus statement identifies diagnostic indicators for depression in the elderly and an appropriate management strategy. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are recommended as the antidepressants of first choice in the elderly, including those with severe depression, the very old, and hospitalized patients. Psychosocial support and psychotherapy, where available, are other components of a comprehensive strategy. Early intervention is important in late-life depression, and the more pervasive, persistent, or severe the depression, the greater is the need to start drug therapy without delay.

Primary Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2000;2(suppl 5):46-52