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Review: few elderly inpatients who are depressed improve

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To determine the prognosis of medical inpatients who are elderly and have depression.

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline (1980 to September 1996) and PsychINFO (1984 to September 1996) databases using the keywords depression, prognosis, course, follow up, and aged and by scanning the bibliographies of relevant papers.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they reported original research, were published in English or French, had a study population of medical inpatients whose mean age was ≥60 years, and reported affective state as an outcome. Studies of patients with exclusively 1 condition were excluded.

Data extraction

Data were extracted by 1 reviewer on the methods and design of the studies (formation of an inception cohort, description of referral pattern, length and completion of follow up, objective outcome criteria, unbiased outcome assessment, and adjustment for extraneous prognostic factors); patient population; diagnostic …

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