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In recent years, the demographic transition has resulted in an aging population, which has increased the number of illnesses such as depression. Often, the family physician is the first contact with these patients, therefore, comprehensive patient management is essential, emphasizing the primary and secondary prevention of depression in the elderly population. From primary health care, all risk and protective factors related to depression should be comprehensively evaluated. Among the former, widowhood, disability, and chronic diseases stand out. Likewise, the diagnostic criteria must be known to provide timely treatment. And, on the other hand, knowing the appropriate treatment will reduce the symptoms of depression, suicidal behavior, relapse, or recurrence of symptoms. Treatment usually consists of psychotherapy, psychosocial interventions, antidepressants, and electroconvulsive therapy. Therefore, the objective of this review is to offer family physicians a guide on the primary prevention, secondary prevention, and treatment of depression in the elderly. Copyright © 2020 Sociedad Española de Médicos de Atención Primaria (SEMERGEN). Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.


A Ayala-Escudero, E H Hernández-Rincón, L P Avella-Pérez, M Del Mar Moreno-Gómez. Family physician's role in the primary and secondary prevention and in the treatment of depression in the elderly]. Semergen. 2021 Mar;47(2):114-121

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PMID: 33279386

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