Reassessing Cultural Evaluations in Geriatrics: Insights from Cultural Psychiatry


Address correspondence to Neil Krishan Aggarwal, Connecticut Mental Health Center, 34 Park Street, New Haven, CT 06511. E-mail:


Current cultural competency models in geriatrics represent positive developments but may focus disproportionately on group-level information without attending to intracultural, individual variations. This article reviews these limitations and introduces the cultural formulation from psychiatry as a more-thorough assessment strategy. By focusing on the patient's relationships with cultural identity, illness explanations, social networks, and the physician, a cultural formulation designed for geriatrics may help clinicians plan treatment and follow-up in a more-comprehensive and -patient-centered way. Detailed case studies illustrate its potential applications within geriatrics.