Late-life depression among black and white elderly homecare patients

Denise C. Fyffe, Jo Anne Sirey, Moonseong Heo, Martha L. Bruce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors compared the prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) and the prescription rates of antidepressant medication, by race, among frail, older homecare patients. Methods: A random sample of 56 black and 458 white newly admitted homecare patients age 65 and over was assessed for MDD with structured interviews and medical records, and antidepressant prescription rates were tallied. Results: The prevalence of MDD did not differ significantly across racial groups. Only 16.7% of black patients and 32.0% of white patients were prescribed antidepressant medication. Conclusions: Prevalence of MDD was similar among black and white elderly homecare patients. In both groups, depression is undertreated and contributes to the burden of this frail, older patient group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-535
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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