Rural older adults' mental health: status and challenges in care delivery.
ABSTRACT Health disparities remain a challenge in rural populations, with mental health care especially challenging as the proportion of older adults continues to increase worldwide. This study examined the mental health service needs of, and use by, independently living rural older adults, with a focus on depression.
Older adults (#8805; 50 years) were asked to complete a survey.
There were 150 respondents: 29% were between the ages of 50 and 64 years and 71% were 65 years and older. On a composite variable, 23.3% were at-risk for depression. One-half to two-thirds reported awareness of local mental health services, but nearly three-quarters never used these. Barriers to effective treatment of depression included stress, healthcare costs, and denial/fear of depression. There was an 'avoidance' factor in depression diagnosis and management.
Older adults in rural communities experiencing depression pose a problem. Strategies are needed to overcome multiple barriers to effective diagnosis and treatment. There is a need to better understand the role of stress in older adults' lives. It is especially important for primary care providers and the local community to organize resources to allow for more time to be spent with older adults with mental health problems.
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ABSTRACT: Collaborative care models (CCMs) provide a pragmatic strategy to deliver integrated mental health and medical care for persons with mental health conditions served in primary care settings. CCMs are team-based intervention to enact system-level redesign by improving patient care through organizational leadership support, provider decision support, and clinical information systems, as well as engaging patients in their care through self-management support and linkages to community resources. The model is also a cost-efficient strategy for primary care practices to improve outcomes for a range of mental health conditions across populations and settings. CCMs can help achieve integrated care aims underhealth care reform yet organizational and financial issues may affect adoption into routine primary care. Notably, successful implementation of CCMs in routine care will require alignment of financial incentives to support systems redesign investments, reimbursements for mental health providers, and adaptation across different practice settings and infrastructure to offer all CCM components.Current Psychiatry Reports 08/2013; 15(8):383. DOI:10.1007/s11920-013-0383-2 · 3.05 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objectives: Unmet mental health care needs of older people (aged 65 and over) have been identified as a serious problem internationally, particularly in rural areas. In this study we explored the views of health and social care providers of the barriers to effective mental health care for older people in a rural region in Australia.Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 participants from 13 organisations providing care and support to older people in a rural region of Australia. A framework analysis approach was used to thematically analyse the data.Results: Two main themes were identified: 'Recognising the Problem' and 'Service Availability and Access'. In particular the participants identified the impact of the attitudes of older people and health professionals, as well as service inadequacies and gaps in services, on the provision of mental health care to older people in a rural region.Conclusion: This study supports previous work on intrinsic and extrinsic barriers to older people with mental health problems accessing mental health services. The study also offers new insight into the difficulties that arise from the separation of physical and mental health systems for older people with multiple needs, and the impact of living in a rural region on unmet mental health care needs of older people.Aging and Mental Health 02/2014; 18(6). DOI:10.1080/13607863.2013.878307 · 1.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The degree of health disparities present in rural communities is of growing concern and is considered "urgent" since rural residents lag behind their urban counterparts in health status. Understanding the prevalence and type of chronic diseases in rural communities is often difficult since Americans living in rural areas are reportedly less likely to have access to quality health care, although there are some exceptions. Data suggest that rural residents are more likely to engage in higher levels of behavioral and health risk-taking than urban residents, and newer evidence suggests that there are differences in health risk behavior within rural subgroups. The objective of this report is to characterize the prevalence of four major and costly chronic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and arthritis) and putative risk factors including depressive symptoms within an understudied rural region of the United States. These four chronic conditions remain among the most common and preventable of health problems across the United States. Using survey data (N = 2526), logistic regression models were used to assess the association of the outcome and risk factors adjusting for age, gender, and race. Key findings are (1) Lower financial security was associated with higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and diabetes, but not cancer. (2) Higher levels of depressive symptoms were associated with higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and diabetes. (3) Former or current smoking was associated with higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease and cancer. (4) Blacks reported higher prevalence of diabetes than Whites; Black women were more likely to report diabetes than all other groups; prevalence of diabetes was greater among women with lower education than among women with higher education. (5) Overall, the prevalence of diabetes and arthritis was higher than that reported by Florida and national data. The findings presented in this paper are derived from one of only a few studies examining patterns of chronic disease among residents of both a rural and lower income geographic region. Overall, the prevalence of these conditions compared to the state and nation as a whole is elevated and calls for increased attention and tailored public health interventions.BMC Public Health 10/2013; 13(1):906. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-13-906 · 2.32 Impact FactorThis article is viewable in ResearchGate's enriched formatRG Format enables you to read in context with side-by-side figures, citations, and feedback from experts in your field.