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The Gerontologist, Vol 39, Issue 4 417-425, Copyright © 1999 by The Gerontological Society of America


Managing depressed and suicidal geriatric patients: differences among primary care physicians

MS Kaplan, ME Adamek and A Calderon
School of Community Health, Portland State University, OR 97207-0751, USA. [email protected]

This study examined differences by specialty of primary care physicians in managing suicidal and depressed geriatric patients. A probability sample of 300 Illinois physicians drawn from the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile was surveyed. Significant differences were found between specialties in estimates of the prevalence of psychiatric disorders; use of assessment procedures, treatment approaches, and referrals; perceptions of obstacles to providing mental health care; and confidence in diagnosing and treating depression and suicidality. Meeting the mental health needs of the rapidly growing older population will require a greater emphasis on geriatric mental health and consistency across primary care specialties.

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Copyright © 1999 by The Gerontological Society of America.