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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

Chapter 12 - Psychosis

Summary

Psychotic symptoms (i.e. delusions or hallucinations) are relatively common in later life, with prevalence estimates ranging from 6% in the community to as high as 63% in residential care settings [1]. In some instances, these symptoms are the clinical expression of disorders that had their onset early in life (e.g., schizophrenia), but for a large proportion of older adults they arise for the first time in later life. Dementia-related conditions appear to be the most common cause of psychotic symptoms in older adults, with mood disorders, delirium and schizophrenia spectrum disorders contributing to the majority of the other cases [2]. These symptoms are a source of considerable distress for individuals and those who care for them, and will become a major health issue as the world’s population ages.