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Study suggests how to find depression in COPD patients

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GP patients with COPD who also have moderate to severe depression can be identified with a simple questionnaire, researchers have found.

The researchers, from a practice in Pinner, Middlesex sent the Beck Depression Inventory Short-Form Questionnaire to 66 patients on their practice's COPD register, and 43 were returned. Of these 13 (30%) patients had scores indicating moderate to severe depression, and ten attended for review of their suspected depression.

Depression was confirmed in all ten cases: five patients were treated with antidepressants, three were treated with pulmonary rehabilitation, and two refused treatment.

The researchers concluded that using the questionnaire was a ‘relatively cheap, quick and easy' way to identify depression in COPD patients, and helped to raise awareness among doctors and other staff of depression in chronic illness.

Primary Care Respiratory Journal Articles in press

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