Healthcare use among older primary care patients with minor depression
OBJECTIVE:To determine the rate of healthcare utilization for older primary care patients by depression status. DESIGN/METHODS:Cross-sectional data analysis. SETTING/METHODS:Primary care practices, western New York state. PARTICIPANTS/METHODS:753 patients aged 65 years and older. MEASURES/METHODS:Diagnostic depression categories were determined using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID). The Cornell Services Index (CSI) measured outpatient medical visits. Demographic, clinical, and functional variables were obtained from medical records and interview data. RESULTS:41.23% had subsyndromal or minor depression (M/SSD) and 53.15% had no depression. The unadjusted mean number of outpatient medical visits was greater in those with M/SSD (3.96 visits within 3 months) compared to those without depression (2.84), with a significant difference after adjusting for demographic, functional, and clinical factors. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Those with M/SSD had higher rates of healthcare utilization compared with those without depressive symptoms. Future research should examine whether interventions for older adults with M/SSD reduce healthcare utilization.