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Abstract

Introduction: As Earth’s population is rapidly aging, the question of how best to care for its older adults suffering from psychiatric disorders is becoming a constant and growing preoccupation. Depression is one of the most common psychiatric disorders among older adults, and depressed nursing home residents are at a particularly high risk of a decreased quality of life. The complex requirements of supporting and caring for depressed older adults in nursing homes demand the development and implementation of innovative clinical and organizational models that can ensure early identification of the disorder and high-quality multidisciplinary services for dealing with it. This perspective article aims to provide an overview of the literature and the state of the art of and the urgent need for research on the epidemiology and clinical treatment of depression among older adults. Method: In collaboration with a medical librarian, we conducted literature and bibliometric reviews of published articles in Medline Ovid SP from inception until September 30, 2020, to identify studies related to depression, depressive symptoms, mood disorders, dementia, cognitive disorders, and health complications in long-term care facilities and nursing homes. Results: We had 38,777 and 40,277 hits for depression and dementia, respectively, in long-term care facilities or nursing homes. The search equation found 536 and 1,447 studies exploring depression and dementia, respectively, and their related health complications in long-term care facilities or nursing homes. Conclusion: Depression’s relationships with other health complications have been poorly studied in long-term care facilities and nursing homes. More research is needed to understand them better.

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