Depression In community Residing Elders (DIRE): A Rapid Review and Network Meta-Analysis of Depression Telemedicine Treatments for Older Adults Living in the Community.
Depression is the single most common mental illness in older adults and it leads to significant struggle day to day. Older adults experiencing depressive symptoms, such as low mood, are often under treated. One reason for under treatment is difficulty accessing treatment. Social isolation worsens low mood, and many other symptoms of depression. There are virtual or telemedicine approaches using phones or computers, that healthcare providers can use to provide treatments for depression in older adults. During the COVID‑19 pandemic, older adults are even more socially isolated and less able to seek care. This vicious cycle contributes to poor outcomes for society’s most vulnerable members. Our goal is to determine what telemedicine strategies are available for older adults with depression, and which are most effective in reducing symptoms. We will do this by reviewing all the existing studies in scientific research. Through analysing these studies we will be able to determine which treatments work best for patients. Knowing which treatments are best will allow us to inform patients, doctors, and health care teams how to best use these services to help reduce the burden of depression in older adults.