247293 Outcomes for adults over the age of 65 compared to adults under age 65 who are assessed for psychiatric treatment during an acute crisis: Challenges to healthy communities

Monday, October 31, 2011

Elizabeth Lloyd McGarvey, EdD , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
MaGuadalupe Leon-Verdin, MS , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Tanya N. Wanchek, PhD, JD , Department of Public Health Sciences & Weldon Cooper Center for Public Services, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Richard Bonnie, LLB , Institute of Law, Psychiatry & Public Policy, Unniversity of Virginia Law School, Charlottesville, VA
Individuals experiencing an emergency mental health crisis (e.g., psychosis) are typically assessed to determine needed treatment. Involuntary or voluntary inpatient psychiatric hospitalization or outpatient treatments are options for those in crisis depending upon the availability of services and other factors. A point-in-time survey of all face-to-face crisis evaluations performed by trained clinicians in a Southern state was conducted. Results indicate that there are a number of significant differences between individuals age 65 and over compared to younger adults. This study reports on characteristics of older adults compared to younger adults. Among 215 adults older than age 65, 30% were over the age of 80. Living arrangements included 27% who lived alone, 40% with family, 23 % with support, 3% with non-family others, 1% homeless and the rest other options. Higher rates of mental illness at presentation compared to substance abuse disorders were found among those over age 65 compared to those younger than age 65 with only 4% being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs (compared to 31% of those under age 65). Almost half had no current treatment provider. Of the total older sample, 37% were found to be a danger to others, 28% were unable to care for themselves, 21% were a danger to self, and 14% were experiencing distress but not acute symptoms of mental illness. Results will be discussed in terms of the link between healthy communities and healthy mind and bodies.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the different characteristics and treatment outcomes of older (age 65+) individuals who experience mental health crises compared to younger adults (less than age 65). 2. Discuss issues of healthy minds, healthy bodies related to the concept of healthy communities for those age 65 and older.

Keywords: Community Planning, Mental Health Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 15 years experience in public health and mental health research and evaluation. I am an Associate Professor in the School of Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences at UVA and teach in the MPH program. I have pubished in this area and was research director on the survey that obtained the data for this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.