Managing Depressed and Suicidal Geriatric Patients: A Survey of Primary Care Physicians
Publication Date: January 1999
Publisher(s): The Gerontologist
Special Collection: The Joyce Foundation
Keywords: elderly suicide; mental health; physician specialty
Coverage: United States
This study examined differences by specialty of primary care physicians in managing suicidal and depressed geriatric patients. It surveyed 300 Illinois physicians.
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.
The study found that 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.