Diagnosis and Treatment of Depression in Adults With Comorbid Medical Conditions

By Mary A. Whooley, MD. Published in JAMA, May 2, 2012—Vol 307, No. 17.

Approximately 1 in 10 primary care patients has major depressive disorder, and its presence is associated with poor health outcomes in numerous medical conditions. Using the case of Mr J, a 52-year-old man with depressive symptoms and several comorbid medical conditions, diagnosis and treatment of depression are discussed. Specific topics include evidence regarding appropriate depression screening and diagnosis, the importance of team-based care, patient self-management, exercise, structured psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, monitoring of therapy, and indications for referral.

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