I'm Dr. Gary J. Kennedy. I direct the division of Geriatric Psychology at Montefiore Medical Center. I'd like to share some of the results of research study we've been involved in that was originally sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Because most individuals with depressive disorders are not treated, and of those who are treated they're typically not treated adequately, we were interested in determining how we might help patients and their physicians more adequately treat depression. Because depression is probably most common right after the person has been discharged for hospital, we thought this was the time to make screening efforts to detect persons with depression.
What we did was to screen more than 4000 patients who've recently been discharged from either a medical or a surgical admission for the hospital to detect a low level of depressive symptoms.
Now at the start of the study it was rare that these patients were receiving antidepressant. But by the end of the study, more than half of them were receiving antidepressant. So at this point, we're hoping to expand this study, not make it a research study, but make it routine practice with the medical and surgical patients that are discharged from the hospital.