Community psychiatric nursing and depression in elderly people


  • Colin P Hughes M A (Cantab)PGCE RMN CPN

    Certificate Community Psychiatric Nurse for the Elderly
    1. North Derbyshire Health Authority, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S41 7PF, England
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This paper invites community psychiatric nurses (CPNs) working with the elderly to examine their involvement with elderly people who are depressed It does this by examining a selection of the more recent literature on the topic of depression in the elderly and discusses how this might inform and guide the CPN in his/her practice with this client group Areas from within the literature which are examined in this paper are the prevalence of depression in the elderly, problems of underdetection and undertreatment, classification, screening instruments, social factors in causation, prognosis following treatment, and psychological therapy The literature is shown to have much to offer in aspects of CPN role such as assessment and planning of care, including psychological therapy, liaison with, and education of, other professionals, screening, and primary prevention The nursing literature of this CPN specialism, where it relates to depression, is also examined Although developments in psychiatric services specifically for the elderly were mainly as a response to the illnesses causing dementia, this paper emphasizes that depression is the more common disorder in the elderly It is suggested therefore that a CPN service should ensure that it is significantly orientated to the needs of this client group