Biopsychosocial Approaches to Depression in the Older Adults
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There is no health without mental health. This commonly cited phrase is particularly true in the elderly. Depression can be challenging to diagnose and treat in older adults patients and has a significant negative impact on the overall quality of physical and emotional well-being. A comprehensive biopsychosocial approach to assessment and management of depression is necessary to ensure maximal quality of life. Assessment of mood must take into account current life stressors, such as chronic and acute health problems, social isolation, age-related cognitive decline, prior history of depressions, recent losses (family, friends), drug and alcohol use, and financial challenges. Treatment interventions should address issues identified in the biopsychosocial assessment, with an emphasis on psychosocial treatment (such as enjoyable exercise and increased social interactions). Pharmacotherapy should be used cautiously and conservatively, as side effects and drug-drug interactions are a common problem in this population. Keeping the Golden Years truly golden requires attention to the overall mood state of older adult patient, not a sole focus on physical functioning.
KeywordsBiopsychosocial Exercise Older adults Assessment
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