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The effect of treatment on the two-year course of late-life depression

  • Alastair J. Flint (a1) and Sandra L. Rifat (a2)
Abstract
Background

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of treatment on the long-term course of geriatric depression.

Method

Eighty-four elderly patients who had responded to treatment of the index episode of major depression were maintained on full-dose antidepressant medication and followed on a monthly basis for two years. Relapse and recurrence were treated in a systematic manner.

Results

The cumulative probability of surviving for two years without relapse or recurrence was 74%. Of the 14 patients who suffered recurrence following recovery from the index episode, all responded to a change of treatment, and 71% remained well for the remainder of the study. The risk of recurrence was significantly increased by a delayed response to treatment of the index episode.

Conclusions

Continuation and maintenance treatment with full-dose antidepressant medication, frequent follow-up, and vigorous treatment of relapses and recurrences, were associated with a good outcome in this group of elderly patients.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Alastair J. Flint, The Toronto Hospital (General Division), 200 Elizabeth Street, 8 Eaton North, Room 238, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2C4, Canada. Fax: (416) 340-4198
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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The effect of treatment on the two-year course of late-life depression

  • Alastair J. Flint (a1) and Sandra L. Rifat (a2)
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