Behavioral health needs and problem recognition by older adults receiving home-based aging services
Article first published online: 3 OCT 2008
Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume 24, Issue 4, pages 400–408, April 2009
How to Cite
Gum, A. M., Petkus, A., McDougal, S. J., Present, M., King-Kallimanis, B. and Schonfeld, L. (2009), Behavioral health needs and problem recognition by older adults receiving home-based aging services. Int. J. Geriat. Psychiatry, 24: 400–408. doi: 10.1002/gps.2135
- Issue published online: 19 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 3 OCT 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 AUG 2008
- Manuscript Received: 7 MAR 2008
- help-seeking behavior;
- mental health literacy;
- older adults
Older adults' recognition of a behavioral health need is one of the strongest predictors of their use of behavioral health services. Thus, study aims were to examine behavioral health problems in a sample of older adults receiving home-based aging services, their recognition of behavioral health problems, and covariates of problem recognition.
The study design was cross-sectional. Older adults (n = 141) receiving home-based aging services completed interviews that included: Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV; Brief Symptom Inventory-18; attitudinal scales of stigma, expectations regarding aging, and thought suppression; behavioral health treatment experience; and questions about recognition of behavioral health problems.
Thirty (21.9%) participants received an Axis I diagnosis (depressive, anxiety, or substance); another 17 (12.1%) were diagnosed with an adjustment disorder. Participants were more likely to recognize having a problem if they had an Axis I diagnosis, more distress on the BSI-18, family member or friend with a behavioral health problem, and greater thought suppression. In logistic regression, participants who identified a family member or friend with a behavioral health problem were more likely to identify having a behavioral health problem themselves.
Findings suggest that older adults receiving home-based aging services who recognize behavioral health problems are more likely to have a psychiatric diagnosis or be experiencing significant distress, and they are more familiar with behavioral health problems in others. This familiarity may facilitate treatment planning; thus, older adults with behavioral health problems who do not report familiarity of problems in others likely require additional education. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.