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date: 24 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Depression is common in older adults and prevalence rates tend to increase with age, female sex, reduction in severity of symptoms, and greater restriction in living arrangements. Unfortunately, late-life depression often goes under-recognized potentially due to differential presentation across the lifespan. Late-life depression is caused by a combination of biological (genetic predisposition and comorbid medical illnesses), psychological (comorbid psychiatric disorders, maladaptive cognitions, and lack of engagement in pleasant events), and social factors (life strain, poor social support, and negative life events). However, many older adults evade late-life depression despite experiencing such risk factors, which in turn provides evidence for potential protective factors (resources, psychological strategies, and meaningful engagement). Fortunately, evidence-based pharmacotherapies (tricyclic anti-depressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors) and psychotherapies (cognitive-behavioural, behavioural, problem-solving, reminiscence, brief psychodynamic, and cognitive bibliotherapy) have been identified to ameliorate symptoms of late-life depression.

Keywords: late-life depression, epidemiology, aetiology, predictors, treatment, implications

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