Directions for Effectiveness Research to Improve Health Services for Late-Life Depression in the United States

Theresa J. Hoeft, W Ladson Hinton, Jessica Liu, Jürgen Unützer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Considerable progress has been made in the treatment of late-life depression over the past 20 years, yet considerable gaps in care remain. Gaps in care are particularly pronounced for older men, certain racial and ethnic minority groups, and those with comorbid medical or mental disorders. We reviewed the peer-reviewed literature and conducted interviews with experts in late-life depression to identify promising directions for effectiveness research to address these gaps in care. We searched the PubMed, PsychInfo, and CINHAL databases between January 1, 1998, through August 31, 2013, using terms related to late-life depression and any of the following: epidemiology, services organization, economics of care, underserved groups including health disparities, impact on caregivers, and interventions. The results of this selective review supplemented by more current recommendations from national experts highlight three priority research areas to improve health services for late-life depression: focusing on the unique needs of the patient through patient-centered care and culturally sensitive care, involving caregivers outside the traditional clinical care team, and involving alternate settings of care. We build on these results to offer five recommendations for future effectiveness research that hold considerable potential to advance intervention and health services development for late-life depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-30
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • health services development
  • Late-life depression
  • research directions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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