Conclusions And Summary

Psychological treatments constitute a much-needed effective treatment alternative to physical treatments for late-life anxiety and depression because many older adults are unable to tolerate antidepressants or there may contra-indications to their use with older people with cardiac problems (Orrell et al., 1995) and in the case of anxiety disorders there may be a number of concerns about the prescription of benzodiazepines (Gerson et al., 1999). Future research is required into the effectiveness of psychological treatment for depression and anxiety in common medical conditions such as dementia, post-stroke depression and Parkinson's disease. A number of studies are currently at early stages of evaluation of efficacy in terms of psychological and physical treatments for depression and anxiety. At present a lot remains unknown about the potential for psychological therapies in a range of settings such as in nursing homes.

There is simply not enough psychological research into late-life depression or anxiety to draw firm conclusions about the differential effectiveness of various psychosocial treatments. One may also concur with Karel & Hinrichsen (2000) and Nordhus & Pallesen (2003) that the majority of research has so far been conducted on healthy, community-residing older adults and, for many clinicians, this brings into question the generalizability of research findings with the population with whom they may find themselves working. With these previous two points in mind one can draw a cautious conclusion that psychological treatments for anxiety and depression are efficacious and provide older people, service providers and clinicians with a treatment choice. The evidence base is strongest with regard to cognitive-behaviour therapy for depression and anxiety and interpersonal psychotherapy for depression. The evidence that exists to support psychodynamic psychotherapy as a treatment for late-life depression primarily comes from the CBT research literature. A more robust test of psychodynamic psychotherapy would be research carried out primarily by psychodynamic researchers. With the recent developments of cognitive analytical therapy being modified for use with older people (see Hepple & Sutton, 2004), there may be the promise of future empirical evaluation of this approach. Research in life review as a treatment for late-life depression is inconclusive and much more empirical evaluation is required. Given the increase in the numbers of older people living longer, the psychological needs of this important section of society are likely to increase rather than decrease, with the need for more high quality research also likely to increase.

Do Not Panic

Do Not Panic

This guide Don't Panic has tips and additional information on what you should do when you are experiencing an anxiety or panic attack. With so much going on in the world today with taking care of your family, working full time, dealing with office politics and other things, you could experience a serious meltdown. All of these things could at one point cause you to stress out and snap.

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