Forrest Scene

Student research regarding depression among the elderly to be presented at annual forum

Washburn University student Leanna Streit, of Tipton, will present the research poster, "Depression in the Elderly: Prevalence, Diagnosis and Treatment," at The Washburn Apeiron:  A Forum of Student Research, Scholarship and Creativity on Friday, April 18.

Streit is a senior and is pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing degree.

In the research abstract, she noted: "Depression is a prevalent psychiatric disorder that often presents in late adulthood. The psychosocial stages of development in the older adult may contribute to the prevalence of this diagnosis. Joan Erikson's 9th stage of psychosocial development and Tornstam's theory of gerotranscendence relate specifically to the diagnosis in the older adult population and will be reviewed for further analysis. Because of the complexity of the diagnosis, depression may be misdiagnosed, go undetected or be overlooked. Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to manage depression, but may not always be the most effective treatment, particularly for the elderly population. This review of literature explores why this is so and recommendations for more accurate treatment. Correct diagnosis of depression and effectively managing its signs and symptoms are important in relation to nursing in that many people with depression have other medical problems. It is essential that depression is managed effectively so it does not hinder recoveries or alter disease processes."

This presentation will fulfill a portion of the Washburn Transformational Experience opportunity, for which Streit must demonstrate excellence in scholarly and creative activity, community service, leadership or international education. The WTE was established to provide baccalaureate students with the opportunity to make a difference to others or society through enhanced learning designed wto complement traditional college studies.

The Apeiron allows students from all disciplines to present their work in an environment that closely resembles the professional conferences and performance venues of their chosen area of study.  Seventy-one students are participating in the forum and entries include poster presentations, oral presentations, exhibitions and performances. To learn more, please visit


Dena Anson, university relations, 785.670.1711