Medical morbidity and severity of depression in a large primary care sample of older Australians: The DEPS-GP project

Pfaff, Jon J., Draper, Brian M., Pirkis, Jane E., Stocks, Nigel P., Snowdon, John A., Sim, Moira G., Byrne, Gerard J., Lautenschlager, Nicola T., Flicker, Leon A., Kerse, Ngaire M., Goldney, Robert D. and Almeida, Osvaldo P. (2009) Medical morbidity and severity of depression in a large primary care sample of older Australians: The DEPS-GP project. Medical Journal of Australia, 190 7: S75-S80.

Author Pfaff, Jon J.
Draper, Brian M.
Pirkis, Jane E.
Stocks, Nigel P.
Snowdon, John A.
Sim, Moira G.
Byrne, Gerard J.
Lautenschlager, Nicola T.
Flicker, Leon A.
Kerse, Ngaire M.
Goldney, Robert D.
Almeida, Osvaldo P.
Title Medical morbidity and severity of depression in a large primary care sample of older Australians: The DEPS-GP project
Journal name Medical Journal of Australia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0025-729X
1326-5377
Publication date 2009-04-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 190
Issue 7
Start page S75
End page S80
Total pages 6
Editor Martin Van Der Weyden
Place of publication Strawberry Hills, NSW, Australia
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Company
Language eng
Subject C1
110319 Psychiatry (incl. Psychotherapy)
920410 Mental Health
920502 Health Related to Ageing
Abstract Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of depression among older Australians with common medical morbidities, and to determine the association between poor physical health and depression in this age group.
Formatted abstract
Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of depression among older Australians with common medical morbidities, and to determine the association between poor physical health and depression in this age group.
Design: Cross-sectional, postal questionnaire survey.
Setting and participants: 20 183 community-dwelling adults aged 60 years and over, under the care of 383 general practitioners participating in the Depression and Early Prevention of Suicide in General Practice (DEPS-GP) project (conducted between 2005 and 2008; the data in this article were collected during the baseline phase of the study in 2005).
Main outcome measures: Depressive symptoms (measured by the nine-item depression scale of the Patient Health Questionnaire), health status (measured by the 12-item Short Form Health Survey and a medical morbidity inventory), social support (measured by the subjective support subscale from the Duke Social Support Index), and demographic and lifestyle information.
Results: 18 190 participants (90.1%) reported having at least one chronic physical health condition, while 1493 (7.1%) experienced clinically significant depression (3.1% major depressive syndrome; 4.0% other depressive syndrome). Most chronic physical illnesses were associated with increased odds of depression, and participants with numerous medical morbidities and a high level of functional impairment were three to four times more likely to have a depressive illness.
Conclusions: Depression is more the exception than the rule in later life, and among those who are medically unwell, the level of associated impairment may determine their risk of depression more than their acquired physical illness. Many of the factors associated with depression in medically ill patients are amenable to treatment, and GPs are in a unique position to address this important public health issue.
Keyword Medicine, General & Internal
General & Internal Medicine
MEDICINE, GENERAL & INTERNAL
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID 353569
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
ERA 2012 Admin Only
School of Medicine Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 17 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 17 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 18:06:13 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of Psychiatry - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital