Treatment-resistant depression in the elderly

Int Psychogeriatr. 1995;7 Suppl:83-94. doi: 10.1017/s1041610295002377.


Apparent treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is frequently encountered by and poses particular challenges for the old-age psychiatrist. The prevalence of true nonresponse to treatment is not known with accuracy but reports put it at 18% to 40% for the elderly. This article reviews the concept of TRD in the elderly, discussing the factors involved in apparent resistance and the treatment of this group. We suggest that absolute TRD may be a rarer entity than the estimated 18% to 40% if depressed patients are treated carefully and vigorously.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antidepressive Agents