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Depressive disorders are prevalent among adults age 65 and older, and late-life depression is likely to become an increasingly serious public health problem given the aging of the U.S. population. Depressive disorders affect older people in terms of family interactions, sleeping and eating habits, general health, and the ability to enjoy life. Depression in older adults worsens the outcomes of many medical conditions, is associated with increased morbidity, and is linked to increased suicide rates. Depression in this population is frequently underdiagnosed and untreated, which leads to increased healthcare costs due to unnecessary acute care utilization, excessive primary care and emergency room visits, and the prescription of costly medications.
The purpose of this course is to help clinicians assess and intervene in late-life depression. The course reviews the primary types of depressive disorders among the geriatric population, including major depressive disorder, minor depression, persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), and substance/medication-induced depressive disorder. The course discusses the causes of depression in this age group, including biomedical and psychosocial factors, and identifies risk factors. Participants will learn about diagnostic procedures and cultural considerations. Assessment and screening tools are described, including the Geriatric Depression Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Patient Health Questionnaire. Current treatments such as drug therapy and electroconvulsive therapy are discussed, as are psychotherapeutic approaches including cognitive-behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, problem-solving treatment, interpersonal psychotherapy, reminiscence therapy, and cognitive bibliotherapy. Useful tables provide practical information such as generic and trade names of antidepressant medications, the differences between depression and dementia, and issues regarding care delivery.
This basic-level course is written for behavioral health professionals, including social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, and nurses, who work with older adults and their families in primary and tertiary care, acute and long-term care, institutional, home-based, and community settings.
Participants will receive 3 (Clinical Content) continuing education clock hours upon successful completion of this course.
- Identify the different types of depressive disorders among older adults.
- Describe the causes of depression among older adults.
- Explain how to diagnose depressive disorders among older adults.
- Describe therapeutic approaches for treating and managing depression among older adults.
Kathy Black, PhD, MSW, MSG, MPH, is a professor of social work and gerontology at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, a Hartford Geriatric Social Work faculty scholar, and a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. Dr. Black obtained her doctorate degree from the University at Albany, State University of New York, in 2000, master’s degrees in social work and gerontology from the University of Southern California (1988), and a master’s degree in public health from the University of California at Los Angeles (1990). Dr. Black has worked with older adults and their families as a nurse, social worker, and geriatric case manager for more than 25 years in acute care, long-term care, home, and community-based settings.
- Contact hours will be awarded for up to one (1) year from the date the course is ordered.
- You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
- Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
- All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.