Models of care for treating late-life depression in primary care

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The aim of this review is to highlight the need for treating late-life depression in primary care settings, review obstacles to doing so and introduce evidence-based models of depression care for older primary care patients. While interventions focusing on depression screening, provider education and referral to mental health specialists have had only limited success, several recent trials have demonstrated that programs in which primary care providers and mental health professionals effectively collaborate to treat depression using evidence-based treatment algorithms are more effective than usual care. Future research should address the problem of persistent depression, which has been identified in recent collaborative care studies, and focus on how to translate evidence-based approaches for late-life depression treatment into real world practice.

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