Article

Mental health service use among Canadian older adults with anxiety disorders and high levels of anxiety symptoms

Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
Aging and Mental Health (Impact Factor: 1.75). 09/2010; 14(7):790-800. DOI: 10.1080/13607861003713273
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Despite evidence of disproportionate underutilization of mental health services by older adults and by individuals with anxiety disorders, little is known specifically about service use by older adults with anxiety. This study examines the prevalence of mental health service use among older adults with anxiety disorders and clinically significant anxiety symptoms, as well as factors associated with service use.
The authors used data from the Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health and Well-Being, a nationally representative survey of community-dwelling Canadians. This study examined past-year use of mental health services in both the specialty mental health and general medical sectors by adults aged 55+ (N = 12,792). Logistic regression analyses examined predictors of service use among those with anxiety disorders (N = 279) and clinically significant anxiety symptoms (N = 880).
Only 20.8% of older adults with an anxiety disorder and no mood disorder used services in the past year, compared to 43.1% of those with a mood disorder and 72.7% of those with comorbid disorders. In the final logistic regression models, only need variables were significant predictors of service use among older adults with anxiety disorders and among those with significant anxiety symptoms.
Findings indicate that anxious older adults are less likely to use mental health services than those who are depressed. While predisposing and enabling factors do not appear to impede service use, the need for help does. Anxious older adults and those they interact with may not be interpreting their anxiety symptoms as warranting services.

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    • "Ces résultats concordent avec ceux d'autres études ayant rapporté une prévalence plus élevée de symptômes de détresse psychologique chez les femmes âgées (Djernes, 2006 ; Gadalla, 2010 ; Mojtabai et Olfson, 2004 ; Wight, Cummings, Karlamangla et Aneshensel, 2009) ainsi qu'une plus grande utilisation des services en santé mentale par celles-ci (Crabb et Hunsley, 2006 ; Han et al., 2011). D'autres études canadiennes n'ont, cependant, pas trouvé d'association directe entre le genre et l'utilisation des services de santé (Cairney et al., 2010 ; Cole, McCusker, Sewitch, Ciampi et Dyachenko, 2008 ; Scott et al., 2010). En ce qui concerne l'effet de l'âge, nos résultats concordent avec ceux d'autres études ayant rapporté une plus grande prévalence de détresse psychologique (Mojtbai et Olfson, 2004) et une plus grande utilisation des services de santé par les personnes moins âgées (Cole et al., 2008 ; Crabb et Hunsley, 2006). "
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