Geriatric depression in a physical rehabilitation center
Goodman, Alissa S.
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Rehabilitation in the elderly is both important and appropriate as older people are more likely to suffer functional deficits even after a minor illness or medical procedure. The elderly are also at increased risk for depressive symptoms and clinical levels of depression. Past studies have found depression in the elderly to range from 20-45% and dysthymic and dysphoric symptoms to range from 44-76% of geriatric medically ill patients. This study was designed to examine both the level of depression in elderly patients admitted to a physical rehabilitation hospital and overall functional improvement of depressed and non-depressed geriatric patients. One hundred and fifty consecutively admitted geriatric patients with an orthopedic diagnosis were evaluated for depression using the Revised Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. Functional levels were measured using the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores collected with 72 hours of intake and discharge. Certain individual depression items were found to be correlated to improvement in functional independence but overall depression scores were not found to be correlated with functional improvement.