Prevalence, Patterns, and Predictors of Depression Treatment among Community-Dwelling Elderly Individuals with Dementia in the United States

Sandipan Bhattacharjee, Yeum Mok Oh, Eric M. Reiman, William J. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives Co-occurring dementia and depression exerts a substantial burden on the elderly. This study utilizes data from a nationally representative cohort of community-dwelling individuals 65 years and older to examine the prevalence, patterns, and predictors of depression treatment among elderly individuals with co-occurring dementia and depression. Design Retrospective, cross-sectional study. Setting Multiple years of Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012) data. Participants The study sample consisted of elderly (age ≥65 years) individuals who 1) had dementia, 2) were alive during the calendar year, and 3) had co-occurring depression. Measurements The dependent variable of this study was depression treatment, identified by antidepressant medication with or without psychotherapy use. Individual level factors associated with depression treatment among elderly individuals with dementia and co-occurring depression were evaluated by conducting multinomial logistic regression. Results Co-occurring depression prevalence among community-dwelling elderly individuals with dementia was approximately 22%. An overwhelming majority (nearly 88%) of the study sample reported receipt of depression treatment. Antidepressants only and combination therapy (antidepressant with psychotherapy) was reported by 75% and 13%, respectively, of the study sample. Age, race/ethnicity, marital status, limitations of instrumental activities of daily living, perceived mental health status, and pain were significantly associated with the reporting of receipt of depression treatment. Conclusions An overwhelming majority of the study sample received depression treatment and several subgroup differences (such as in terms of age) existed in terms of reporting the use of depression treatment was observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-813
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Dementia
  • antidepressants
  • depression
  • psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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