Recognition and treatment of depression in older adults admitted to acute hospitals in England.
Clin Med (Lond). 2019 Mar;19(2):114-118
Authors: Shastri A, Aimola L, Tooke B, Quirk A, Corrado O, Hood C, Crawford MJ
Levels of awareness and treatment of depression in older adults admitted to acute hospitals are unclear. This study aims to examine the proportion of older adults diagnosed with depression in acute hospitals, treatment, referral, and communication between secondary and primary healthcare services following discharge. Retrospective examination of records of 766 older adults admitted to 27 acute hospitals in England was carried out. Ninety-eight (12.7%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 10.6-15.3) records included a diagnosis of depression of which eight (1.0%, 95% CI = 0.5-2.0) had a new diagnosis made during their hospital admission. All newly diagnosed and 76 (84.4%, 95% CI = 75.5-90.5) of those with an existing diagnosis of depression were prescribed antidepressant medication. Six (75.0%, 95% CI = 40.9-92.8) of those with a new diagnosis, and 21 (23.3%, 95% CI = 15.8-33.0) with an existing diagnosis of depression were referred to liaison psychiatry. References to mental health were made in 50 (51.0%, 95% CI = 41.2-60.6) discharge letters sent to primary care. Very few older adults admitted to acute hospitals in this study were diagnosed with depression during their inpatient stay. Opportunities for improving the mental and physical health of such patients appear to be being missed.
PMID: 30872291 [PubMed - in process]