Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2019 - 41

Free Online
Modules on
Recognizing and
Treating Geriatric
Depression
by Lucy J. Cairns, MD, Editor
A recent publication I received from my alma mater included
a story drawing attention to the work of a Johns Hopkins
geriatric psychiatrist, Dr. Susan Lehmann, in developing a
free online learning resource on the topic of recognizing and
treating geriatric depression. In a survey of medical schools,
Dr. Lehmann and colleagues found that 21% of responding
schools lacked specific instruction or clinical experience focused
on geriatric psychiatry and 14% reported having no geriatric
psychiatrist on the faculty. These self-paced learning modules
were developed for incorporation into medical school curricula,
but might be of interest to some practicing physicians as well
and can be accessed at: bit.ly/IDGeriatricDep.

REFERENCES
death versus suicidal ideations (Balsis, 2008). Providers should
look for other indicators such as restlessness, fatigue, difficulty
concentrating, changes in appetite, memory loss or confusion,
and chronic pain that persists despite being treated (Balsis, 2008).
Implementing the routine use of depression rating scales like
the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and the Patient Health
Questionnaire (PHQ-9) can be valuable screening tools to aid
in the identification of late-life depression. Older adults prefer
receiving services in primary care settings; therefore, a system of
integrated mental health services offers an effective and efficient
approach for reducing barriers and increasing access to these
services (Sorrell, 2016).
Sheveen Greene-Adenaike, MSN AGNP-BC
Adult & Geriatric Primary Care NP-BC
Delaware County, PA
sheveen.greene-adenaike@matrixmedicalnetwork.com

Balsis S, Cully JA. Comparing depression diagnostic symptoms
across younger and older adults. Aging Ment Health. 2008;
12:800-6.
Ellison JM, Kyomen HH, Harper DG. Depression in later life:
an overview with treatment recommendations. Psychiatric Clinics
of North America. 2012;35:203-29.
Fiske AJ, Wetherell JL, Gatz M. Depression in older adults.
Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2009;5:363-89.
Li C, Friedman B, Conwell Y, Fiscella K. Validity of the Patient
Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2) in Identifying Major Depression in Older People. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
2007;55(4):596-602.
Vincent GK, Velkoff VA. The next four decades: the older
population in the United States: 2010 to 2050. US Census Bureau:
May 2010
Ritchie K. Late-life depression. European Psychiatry. 2014;29:577.
Sorrell, J. Community-Based Older Adults With Mental Illness: We
Can Do Better. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health
Services. 2016;54(11):25-29
Vincent GK, Velkoff VA. The next four decades: the older
population in the United States: 2010 to 2050. US Census Bureau:
May 2010
World Health Organization (2018). Depression Fact Sheet
SUMMER 2019

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http://www.bit.ly/IDGeriatricDep

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2019

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