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A controlled clinical trial of sertraline in the treatment of depression in nursing home patients with late-stage Alzheimer's disease



A controlled clinical trial of sertraline in the treatment of depression in nursing home patients with late-stage Alzheimer's disease



American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 8(1): 66-74



A sample of 31 female nursing home patients with late-stage Alzheimer's disease participated in a double-blind clinical trial of the antidepressant medication sertraline. Measures of depression included various objective scales and two measures of facial expressions of emotion coded during a semistructured interview using a facial affect coding system. Repeated-measures ANOVAs at baseline and at the 8-week endpoint indicated that on all measures, both the treatment and placebo groups improved over time, with three of six measures showing a significant time effect. The "knit-brow" facial measure approached significance for a Treatment x Time effect. Thus, sertraline had no significant benefits over placebo. However, if, as we hypothesize, the knit-brow response is more sensitive to signs of depression in advanced dementia, our study justifies the further investigation of the use of sertraline in this population.

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Accession: 045053087

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10648297

DOI: 10.1097/00019442-200002000-00009


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