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

General practitioners' detection of depression and dementia in elderly patients.

The Medical journal of Australia

J Bowers, A F Jorm, S Henderson, P Harris


  1. NHMRC Social Psychiatry Research Unit, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT.

PMID: 2388603 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.

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