General practitioners' detection of depression and dementia in elderly patients

Med J Aust. 1990 Aug 20;153(4):192-6. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.1990.tb136858.x.


In a study of 11 general practitioners' detection of dementia and depression in 101 elderly patients it was found that general practitioners were more accurate in their detection of dementia than depression. The general practitioners did not identify 12 of the 15 patients assessed as depressed by a Diagnostic Interview for Depression, but their assessments of dementia corresponded quite well with the results of dementia tests. The general practitioners' knowledge of the symptoms and signs of dementia and depression was limited. If the patient talked to the general practitioner about feeling depressed, sad or irritable, the depression recognition rate increased.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Australia
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychological Tests