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PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF AGING, MEDICAL SOCIETY TO STUDY DEPRESSION IN THE ELDERLY

 PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF AGING, MEDICAL SOCIETY
 TO STUDY DEPRESSION IN THE ELDERLY
 HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- State Secretary of Aging Linda M. Rhodes and Robert N. Moyers, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, today announced a joint effort to improve the diagnosis and treatment of depression in the elderly.
 The Medical Society last week began sending surveys to 3,000 doctors specializing in family practice, general practice, internal medicine and geriatrics to help determine the physicians' perception of depression in the elderly.
 The survey is aimed at determining how older patients feel about discussing mental health issues with their physicians and identifying current diagnostic and treatment practices of doctors.
 "Physicians are often in the best position to identify depression in an older person and to advise steps for treatment," Rhodes said. "We hope the survey will heighten physicians' awareness of depression in older people."
 A panel of experts convened by the National Institutes of Health last year concluded that depression in the elderly is often misdiagnosed.
 According to the panel, an estimated 60 percent of older people suffering depression nationally are not treated appropriately.
 "Finding out how this problem is being handled now can help us tailor and improve information for physicians on ways to identify and appropriately treat depression," Moyers said. "Equally important are our efforts to increase awareness of the existence of depression and the need to seek treatment for it."
 /delval/
 -0- 8/11/92
 /CONTACT: Kate Megargee of the Department of Aging, 717-783-1549/ CO: Pennsylvania Department of Aging; Pennsylvania Medical Society ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU:


MJ -- PH009 -- 8885 08/11/92 10:32 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 11, 1992
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