Managing depression in physically ill patients

by Dr Siobhán MacHale and Dr Roger Smyth


Last updated: July 2012


Depressive disorders are more common in patients with physical illness than in those without. Recent advances in psychiatric treatments, including brief, focused psychological therapies and increasingly selective medications, have now given us the opportunity to make a significant impact on both the physical and mental health of this previously neglected patient group.


The aim of this module is to help general psychiatrists in the diagnosis and treatment of depression of these patients, with particular emphasis on the choice of antidepressant.


The module will take you through some of the key points with regard to:


  • the relationship between physical and depressive illness


  • assessment and diagnosis


  • management and treatment.


Start the module


Please note: This module was last updated in 2012. A revision is being worked on, but in the meantime please be aware when completing the module that some of the guidance may have changed.

If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Neuropsychiatric problems in Parkinson's disease by Dr J. Serra-Mestres and Dr S Mukhopadhyay


Pharmacological treatment of resistant depression – an overview

by Professor Philip J. Cowen


Essentials of Physical Health in Psychiatry (book from RCPsych Publications)



BJPsych Advances: related articles for CPD Online



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