Prevalence rates of depression in medically ill elderly people are strikingly high. In particular, the prevalences of depression at any given time in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and stroke are as high as 87%, 75%, and 79%, respectively. Proper detection and management of depression in primary care is imperative. The present review examines the risk factors, peculiarities, and etiologies of depression in these populations. We suggest that certain features of depression be considered in assessing depression in these populations and provide guidelines for distinguishing depression from medical, psychosocial, and physical complaints common in elderly people. Additionally, we explore the use of self-report instruments of depression and provide guidelines regarding the specific measures and cutoffs most appropriate for use with these populations. To this end, we hope that readers acquire a greater appreciation for the experience of depression of those suffering from these neurological disorders to aid in their assessment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health