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Providing care to the elderly with depression: the views of aged care staff


S. Hassall
Blue Care Research Unit
PO Box 1539
Milton BC
Qld 4064


The purpose of this paper was to scope the views of care staff working in an aged care setting in an effort to understand the issues these staff face in the delivery of care to the elderly with depression. Seventeen care staff working in metropolitan, regional and rural areas of Queensland participated in one-on-one interviews in order to elicit their views on the identification of depression in the elderly and the care processes staff employed to manage depression. Interview notes were taken, reviewed, transcribed and analysed using content analysis. Discussion with participants revealed five themes regarding the management of depression in both community and residential aged care settings. These included: the extent to which depression is an issue for clients and residents; staff understanding of depression and the ability to recognize when a client or resident is depressed; discussing depression with general practitioner's and other healthcare professionals; processes and procedures for treating and addressing depression; and education and training on depression for staff. The findings revealed that care staff need greater education and training about depression and targeted strategies for its identification and management.