Using interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) to treat depression in older primary care patients

Geriatrics. 2008 Mar;63(3):18-28.


Depression in older adults is associated with substantial morbidity as well as mortality related to both suicide and nonsuicide causes. Lessening the burden of untreated depression in the elderly requires a flexible approach to treatment that incorporates the patient's life circumstances and treatment preferences. Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is a time-limited, evidence-based psychosocial intervention used to treat depression either alone or in combination with medication. Familiarity with its features and use can assist geriatric clinicians in optimizing outcomes for their patients with depression.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome