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The Impact of Comorbidity of Depression and Anxiety on Outcomes of Illness

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Getting Started 

1.  Listen to Eugene in this monologue or download the printed copy of the monologue.  As you listen to Eugene, think about the following questions and be prepared to discuss them. 

  • What evidence do you hear that may be indicative of depression?
  • How can you assess Eugene's baseline functional status?
  • What coping strategies does Eugene use?
  • Who are Eugene's support system and how can they help him?
  • What evidence of anxiety do you hear as Eugene talks?
  • What are Eugene's strengths and weaknesses?
  • What else do you want to know about Eugene?
  • What is your impression of Eugene’s relationships? 

 2.  Consider what assessment tools would be appropriate for continuing to evaluate Eugene. Utilize these tools to better understand: 

  • The behaviors associated with Major Depression
  • Evidence of any cognitive impairment that may be complicating Eugene's recovery
  • The overlap of depressive, cognitive and anxiety behaviors and what they mean
  • How alcohol may be a factor in compromising outcomes
  • What is Eugene's baseline level of functioning and has he deviated from that point?
  • How can you evaluate Mrs. Shaw’s ability to manage the caregiving role? 

3.  A concept map is a diagram that illustrates relationships among concepts. Assign a concept map to students after they listen to the monologue or have the students do a concept map as a group project in class/seminar, or as a post-conference activity.  In the third scenario of the simulation, Eugene is recovering from surgery. Introduce this snapshot of his life to the students as they develop the concept map. This activity allows students to see the repercussions of depression especially in the older adult recovering from surgery. See the example of a draft of a concept map in the materials section. 

In completing this exercise students should consider: 

  • What is depression?
  • What are the causes for depression?
  • What are the symptoms of depression?
  • What are the pharmacological treatments for depression?
  • Will these treatments impact any other treatments the patient may be getting?
  • What are the non-pharmacological treatments for depression? 

4. Investigate the resources available to Veterans on the AARP Caregiver Resource page

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