Prevalence and correlates of anxiety among nursing home patients

Department of Nursing Home Medicine, VU University Medical Center, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Journal of Affective Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.71). 10/2005; 88(2):145-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2005.06.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Very little is known about the prevalence and correlates of anxiety among nursing home patients. The current knowledge is predominantly based on information from population-based studies among elderly.
Prevalence of anxiety was measured with the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN) in a sample of 333 nursing home patients of somatic wards of 14 nursing homes in the Netherlands. Participants were over 55 years, had a MMSE-score >14 and were able to communicate sufficiently. Information about demographic, health-related, psychosocial and care-related characteristics was collected in interviews with participants and from attending physicians and nursing home staff.
The prevalence of anxiety disorders was 5.7%, of subthreshold anxiety disorders 4.2% and of anxiety symptoms 29.7%. Only health-related characteristics (MMSE-score >23, depression, stroke) were significantly associated with anxiety disorders and subthreshold anxiety disorders. Demographic (>6 years education), health-related (depression, impaired vision, pain) and psychosocial characteristics (a recent negative life event) were significantly associated with anxiety symptoms. No care-related characteristics were associated with anxiety.
The study population is a selective one (>55 years, MMSE >15, able to communicate sufficiently). The data were collected cross-sectionally.
Anxiety disorders and anxiety symptoms occur frequently among nursing home patients and are mainly associated with health-related characteristics. Physicians should focus special attention on patients with depression or stroke.

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