Early Intervention to Reduce the Global Health and Economic Burden of Major Depression in Older Adults

Posted: 16 Apr 2012

See all articles by Charles F. Reynolds

Charles F. Reynolds

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public Health

Pim Cuijpers

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Clinical Psychology; The EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center; The Amsterdam Interdisciplinary Center of Law and Health

Vikram Patel

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Alex Cohen

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Amit Dias

Goa Medical College and Hospital

Olivia Okereke

Harvard University - Harvard Medical School

Mary Amanda Dew

University of Pittsburgh - School of Medicine

Stewart Anderson

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public Health

Sati Mazumdar

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public Health

Frank Lotrich

University of Pittsburgh - School of Medicine

Steven Albert

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public Health

Date Written: April 2012

Abstract

Randomized trials for selective and indicated prevention of depression in both mixed-aged and older adult samples, conducted in high-income countries (HICs), show that rates of incident depression can be reduced by 20–25% over 1–2 years through the use of psychoeducational and psychological interventions designed to increase protective factors. Recurrence of major depression can also be substantially reduced through both psychological and psychopharmacological strategies. Additional research is needed, however, to address the specific issues of depression prevention in older adults in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The growing number of older adults globally, as well as workforce issues and the expense of interventions, makes it important to develop rational, targeted, and cost-effective risk-reduction strategies. In our opinion, one strategy to address these issues entails the use of lay health counselors (LHCs), a form of task shifting already shown to be effective in the treatment of common mental disorders in LMICs. We suggest in this review that the time is right for research into the translation of depression-prevention strategies for use in LMICs.

Suggested Citation

Reynolds, Charles F. and Cuijpers, Pim and Patel, Vikram and Cohen, Alex and Dias, Amit and Okereke, Olivia and Dew, Mary Amanda and Anderson, Stewart and Mazumdar, Sati and Lotrich, Frank and Albert, Steven, Early Intervention to Reduce the Global Health and Economic Burden of Major Depression in Older Adults (April 2012). Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 33, pp. 123-135, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2039588 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031811-124544

Charles F. Reynolds (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public Health ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15260-0001
United States

Pim Cuijpers

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Clinical Psychology ( email )

Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands

The EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center

Amsterdam
Netherlands

The Amsterdam Interdisciplinary Center of Law and Health

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

Vikram Patel

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Keppel Street
London, WC1E 7HT
United Kingdom

Alex Cohen

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Keppel Street
London, WC1E 7HT
United Kingdom

Amit Dias

Goa Medical College and Hospital

Bambolin, Tiswadi
India

Olivia Okereke

Harvard University - Harvard Medical School

25 Shattuck St
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Mary Amanda Dew

University of Pittsburgh - School of Medicine

200 Meyran Avenue
Suite 200
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
United States

Stewart Anderson

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public Health

Pittsburgh, PA 15260-0001
United States

Sati Mazumdar

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public Health

Pittsburgh, PA 15260-0001
United States

Frank Lotrich

University of Pittsburgh - School of Medicine

200 Meyran Avenue
Suite 200
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
United States

Steven Albert

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public Health

Pittsburgh, PA 15260-0001
United States

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