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Knowledge of late-life depression : an empirical investigation of aged care staff

journal contribution
posted on 01.07.2009, 00:00 authored by Tanya Davison, M McCabe, David MellorDavid Mellor, Gery KarantzasGery Karantzas, K George
Objectives: This study examined knowledge of late-life depression among staff working in residential and community aged care settings, as well as their previous training in caring for older people with depression.

Method: A sample of 320 aged care staff (mean age = 42 years) completed a survey questionnaire. Participants included direct care staff, registered nurses and Care Managers from nursing and residential homes and community aged care services.

Results: Less than half of the participating aged care staff had received any training in depression, with particularly low rates in residential care. Although aware of the importance of engaging with depressed care recipients and demonstrating moderate knowledge of the symptoms of depression, a substantial proportion of staff members saw depression as a natural consequence of bereavement, aging or relocation to aged care.

Conclusion:
Experience in aged care appears to be insufficient for staff to develop high levels of knowledge of depression. Specific training in depression is recommended for staff working in aged care settings in order to improve the detection and management of late-life depression, particularly among direct carers, who demonstrated least knowledge of this common disorder.

History

Journal

Aging and mental health

Volume

13

Issue

4

Pagination

577 - 586

Publisher

Routledge

Location

London, England

ISSN

1360-7863

eISSN

1364-6915

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2009, Taylor & Francis