Author(s): Noorani NH, Montagnini M
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Abstract Clinically significant depression is a common psychiatric disorder in patients with advanced and terminal diseases. Depression is often unrecognized and untreated and it causes major suffering to patients and families. Having adequate knowledge and skills to properly recognize depression in patients with advanced illnesses is essential for providing comprehensive end-of-life care. The objective of this paper is to review the key elements of the assessment of depression in palliative care patients. We also discuss the challenges of making the diagnosis, review the risk factors associated with depression and describe the features of the most common assessment tools that have been studied in this population. Finally, we highlight how to differentiate depression from normal grief, as the overlap between these conditions imposes a diagnostic challenge.
This article was published in J Palliat Med
and referenced in Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine