More Personalized Treatment is Needed for Depression in Nursing Home Residents

November 15, 2022

November 15, 2022
Contact: Ellen Mullally

Depression is common among nursing home (NH) residents, but it can be challenging to identify and manage because depressive symptoms have several potential etiologies in NH residents. An article in the November issue of JAMDA suggests that moving toward more personalized treatment for depression in NHs should be made a priority and investigated further.

In The Course of Depressive Symptoms Over 36 Months in 696 Newly Admitted Nursing Home Residents, researchers conducted an observational, multicenter, longitudinal study to assess depressive symptoms using the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD), which identified a non-linear trend in CSDD scores. More severe dementia, a lower level of functioning, poor physical health, more pain, use of antidepressants, and younger age at admission were all associated with higher CSDD scores.

The authors observed 32.6% of patients with persistent mild symptoms, 50.8% with persistent moderate symptoms, 5.1% with increasing symptoms, and 11.6% with severe but decreasing symptoms. A lower level of functioning, poorer physical health, more pain, use of antidepressants, and younger age at admission were associated with higher odds for belonging to the severe but decreasing symptoms group compared to the persistent mild symptoms group.

“Findings from our study contribute to more knowledge about depressive symptoms in NHs that may help to prevent depression and promote individualize treatment,” the authors observed. “Our finding that the use of antidepressants was noticeably associated with severe depressive symptoms calls for closely monitoring effects and for taking action towards more personalized antidepressant treatment and other [efforts to manage] depression in the NH setting.”

This article was conducted by researchers at the Research Center for Age-Related Functional Decline and Disease, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Ottestad, Norway, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; Department of Geriatric Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway; Health Services, Research Unit, Akershus University Hospital, Larenskog, Norway; and Institute of Clinical Medicine, Campus Ahus, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Get more information on the findings above and more details about the study. To contact the researchers or JAMDA editor for an interview, please email





JAMDA is the official journal of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. JAMDA publishes peer-reviewed articles including original studies, reviews, clinical experience articles, case reports, and more, on all topics more important to post-acute and long-term care medicine. Visit for more information.


About AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely professional development, evidence-based clinical guidance, and tireless advocacy on behalf of members, patients, families, and staff. Visit for more information.