The treatment of common mental disorders across age groups: Results from the 2007 adult psychiatric morbidity survey

Claudia Cooper, Paul Bebbington, Sally McManus, Howard Meltzer, Robert Stewart, Michael Farrell, Michael King, Rachel Jenkins, Gill Livingston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: We investigated for the first time in a national survey whether older people were less likely than younger adults with the same symptom severity to receive treatment for Common Mental Disorders (CMD). Method: We analysed data from the 2007 English Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, representative of people living in private homes. 7461 (57%) people approached took part. We used the revised Clinical Interview Schedule to measure CMD symptom severity. Results: Older participants were less likely than younger adults to receive talking therapy and to have seen their GP in the last year about mental health, and more likely to receive benzodiazepines, after adjusting for CMD symptoms. Adults aged 35-74 were the most likely to take antidepressants. There was also preliminary evidence that people from non-white ethnicities were less likely to be taking antidepressants and to have seen their GP in the last year about their mental health. Limitations: We only recorded current treatment, and it is possible that older adults were less likely to be receiving treatments they had found unhelpful earlier in their lives. We asked people whether they had seen their GP about a mental health problem in the last year, but this question may not have detected those who attended for somatic manifestations of their anxieties. Conclusions: Older people are less likely to receive evidence-based treatment for CMD. Managers and clinicians should prioritise reducing this inequality. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96 - 101
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume127
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

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