Caring for patients with long-term conditions and depression
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Caring for patients with long-term conditions and depression

Mark Haddad Clinical research fellow, King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, primary care mental health, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust/Southwark Primary Care Trust

Long-term conditions are an increasingly important part of healthcare activity. The prevalence of these health problems is high and their personal and social effects are extensive, requiring an approach to health care that emphasises integration, continuity and self-care. The risk of depression is significantly increased among people with chronic illnesses. Recognising and assisting in the management of this aspect of care is a crucial part of the nurse’s role. To help people with long-term conditions, services need to be organised so that the assessment and recall of all patients at risk is co-ordinated, and to ensure a range of treatments, including case management, is available for those who are depressed. Nurses need to be familiar with appropriate case-finding tools, and to have knowledge of and access to evidence-based treatments ranging from guided self-help and exercise, to problem-solving, antidepressant and cognitive therapies.

Nursing Standard. 24, 24, 40-49. doi: 10.7748/ns2010.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review