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Adherence to Treatment for Geriatric Depression and Anxiety

  • Julie Loebach Wetherell and Jürgen Unützer


Patient nonadherence to pharmacologic and psychosocial treatments for geriatric depression and anxiety poses a serious barrier to effective clinical care. Rates of nonadherence may be as high as 60% in older adults. Factors associated with nonadherence include lack of information and misperceptions about mental illness and its treatment, stigma, lack of family support, cognitive impairment, adverse events, side effects, cost of treatments, poor physician-patient communication or relationship, and other barriers, such as lack of transportation. Effective interventions to improve adherence are personalized and include both behavioral and educational components. Several current projects that combine pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy for geriatric depression in an integrated care model show promise as interventions to improve rates of treatment and adherence.


Corresponding author

Please direct all correspondence to: Julie Loebach Wetherell, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr, Dept. 0603, La Jolla, CA 92093-0603, Tel: 858-552-8585 ext. 2752; Fax:, 858-552-7404; E-mail:


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Adherence to Treatment for Geriatric Depression and Anxiety

  • Julie Loebach Wetherell and Jürgen Unützer


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