Understanding depression in later life

Posted on October 21, 2013

Louise Sharpe, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Sydney, is examining the role of late onset depression in Australian adults over 65 years, in a study part funded by beyondblue.

Professor Sharpe said that depression was not a normal part of ageing and while the links between deteriorating health and depression were clear, the study would be one of the first in the world to compare different treatments for depression in older adults with one or more chronic health conditions.

“Our elderly citizens deserve this research so we can get a much better understanding of the best treatment options for depression in later life,” she said. “We also need to take pressure off an overloaded health system.”

“Despite the relationship between health and depression being well established and the large numbers of older people with multiple health problems, most of the research trials have not looked at individuals with more than one condition,” said Professor Sharpe.

There are a number of effective therapies for older people suffering from low mood and the study will compare two approaches which have proven to be highly effective – cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and problem solving therapy.

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Source material from Australian Aging Agenda

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