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Attitudes to depression in primary care attenders: Effects of age and depressive symptoms

Zeitlin, D; Katona, C; D'Ath, P; Katona, P; (1997) Attitudes to depression in primary care attenders: Effects of age and depressive symptoms. Primary Care Psychiatry , 3 (1) pp. 17-20.

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Abstract

A cross-sectional study was designed to examine the effect of age on a person's perception of how depression relates to themselves, to others and of methods of treatment. The setting was a general practice health centre in urban East London, list size 11 200 patients. Subjects were one hundred 18-64 year olds (control group) and 80 patients aged 65+ selected randomly from those attending the practice during the study period and who consented to answer the questionnaires. The main outcome measures used were prevalence of depression by the Geriatric Depression Scale (subjects aged 65 +), and the Goldberg Depression Scale Caged 18-64), and attitudes to, self-attribution and knowledge of depression and its treatment as assessed by the Attitudes to Depression Questionnaire (both age groups). Prevalence of depression was similar in both groups, yet approximately one-third of depressed individuals denied ever having been so. Older subjects were less likely to recognize depression in others and were also less willing to seek help for themselves. The majority of both groups viewed antidepressants to be very addictive and not very effective, counselling being the treatment of choice. However, more of the older age group thought that depression should be treated with antidepressants. It was also apparent that the older age group had more confidence in their GPs. It is concluded that there are attitudinal barriers to appropriate treatment for depression at all ages. The findings imply that there is considerable scope for educational intervention aimed at increasing self-recognition of depression and knowledge of effective treatment options.

Type: Article
Title: Attitudes to depression in primary care attenders: Effects of age and depressive symptoms
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10029554
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