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Previous studies show that less than 50% of adults in Canada receive guideline- concordant care for depression and anxiety disorders. Studies on the long-term effects of receiving adequate care for depression and anxiety disorders are scarce, particularly in older adults. This study aimed to assess the 3-year change in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and satisfaction with life associated with receipt of adequate care for depression and anxiety disorders.
This study was conducted among a sample of 219 older adults recruited in primary care with a common mental disorder (depression or an anxiety disorder) who participated in Quebec’s longitudinal ESA-Services (2011-2016) study. The definition of adequacy of care was based on Canadian guidelines and relevant literature. Administrative and self-reported data were used to measure treatment adequacy at baseline. HRQOL was measured using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and satisfaction with life was assessed with the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). HRQOL and satisfaction with life were measured at baseline and follow-up, 3 years later. Multivariate fixed-effects models were carried out to assess the association between adequacy of care and change in quality of life controlling for individual and healthcare system factors in the overall sample as well as separately for depression and anxiety.
The results showed that 56%, 37% and 40% of participants received adequate pharmacological or psychological treatment for depression, anxiety, and overall. Receipt of adequate treatment was associated with on average 4 more points on the VAS (0-100) and 1.7 points on the SWLS (5-25). After controlling for potential confounders, patients receiving adequate care for depression had on average 11 more points on the VAS. Treatment adequacy for anxiety disorders and depression or anxiety disorders overall were not associated with change in HRQOL or satisfaction with life.
Older adults receiving adequate mental health care had better HRQOL and satisfaction with life. Treatment adequacy for depression was associated with change in quality of life; but not for individuals with anxiety. Future studies should focus on different patient indicators of quality of care which may better predict long-term effects of treatment for people with anxiety.
Examine the association between trauma and daily stressors, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS), anxio-depressive disorders, and suicidal ideation in older adults.
A cross-sectional study.
Setting and Participants:
This study included 1446 older adults recruited in primary care practices (2011–2013) and participating in Quebec’s longitudinal study on health services in the elderly.
Lifetime trauma and PTSS was assessed using the validated PTSS scale for older adults based on scores from the Impact of Events Scale-Revised, number of lifetime traumatic events and interference with daily activities. The presence of an anxio-depressive disorder was based on physician diagnoses. Path analyses were conducted to determine the pathways between trauma, daily stressors, PTSS and anxio-depressive disorders and SI. Analyses were conducted on the overall sample and by sex.
Seven percent and 12% reported SI and PTSS. In males, traumas of sexual assault, violence/stalked, war/combat/imprisonment and daily hassles were directly associated with SI. In females, daily hassles were directly associated with SI. In males, a number of traumas were associated with SI through the mediating effect of PTSS and anxio-depressive disorders. In females, PTSS but not anxio-depressive disorders mediated the relationship between traumas and daily stressors, and suicidal ideation.
The effects of lifetime traumas persist well into older age. Traumas leading to SI differ between males and females as do the pathways and comorbidity with PTSS and anxio-depressive disorders. This highlights differences in etiologic patterns, which may be used in primary care practice to identify symptom profiles of older persons at risk of suicidal ideation.
It is unclear whether health service use influences the association between psychiatric and physical co-morbidity and suicide risk in older adults.
Controls were older adults (n = 2,494) participating in a longitudinal study on the health of the elderly carried out between 2004 and 2007, in Quebec. The cases were all suicide decedents (n = 493) between 2004 and 2007, confirmed by the Quebec Coroner's office. Multivariate analyses were carried out to test the association between suicide and the presence of psychiatric and physical illnesses controlling for health service use and socio-demographic factors by gender and age group. Interaction terms were also tested between suicide and co-morbidity on outpatient service use.
The presence of physical illnesses only, was associated with a reduced risk of suicide across all sex and age groups. The presence of a mental disorder only was associated with an increased risk of suicide overall and specifically in females and those aged 70 to 84 years of age. Suicide risk was lower in those with a psychiatric and physical co-morbidity and consulting mental health services.
Increased mental health follow-up in older adults with psychiatric illnesses is needed for the detection of suicidal behavior and reducing suicide risk in males. Further research should focus on the mitigating effect of the presence of physical illnesses on stigma and health service use and the presence of social support in the elderly.
Benzodiazepines (BZD) should be limited in older adults. This study aimed to determine the association between BZD use and the presence of a probable post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) and whether this association is dependent on gender and co-morbid physical and mental conditions.
Data were retained from the Étude sur la Santé des Aînés (ESA) – Services study (2011–2013) and included 1,453 older adults (≥65 years) who completed a face to face at-home interview, who were covered under Quebec's public drug insurance plan, and had given permission to access their Régie de l'Assurance Maladie du Québec (RAMQ) medical and pharmaceutical services data. The presence of a PTSS was measured using the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). The use of BZD and antidepressants in the year prior to interview was ascertained from data reported in the RAMQ drug registry. The presence of depression and an anxiety disorder was assessed with the ESA-Questionnaire which was based on DSM-5 criteria. The interaction between PTSS and gender, depression, anxiety, and multi-morbidity was also assessed.
The prevalence of PTSS and BZD use reached 4.5% and 31.2%. Participants with PTSS were 1.9 (95% CI = 1.1–3.2) times more likely to use BZD. The presence of depression had a negative impact on the association between BZD use and PTSS (p = 0.04).
The use of BZD in older adults with PTSS is still prevalent today. Differences in benzodiazepine prescribing practices for more complex co-morbid psychiatric cases needs to be further studied.
Studies have shown higher healthcare utilization and costs associated with post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) in veterans and community adult populations. Given the aging population and the impact on health system resources, it is important to understand the economic consequences of PTSS.
The data retained came from 1,456 older adults aged 65 years and over recruited in primary medical clinics in the province of Quebec. PTSS was measured with the PTSS scale. Healthcare services (outpatient, emergency department (ED) visits, and inpatient stay) and medication use were captured separately from provincial administrative databases. Healthcare costs incurred in the past year included costs related to outpatient and ED visits, physician fees, inpatient stay, and medication use. Costs were calculated using a healthcare system perspective. χ2 and Mann–Whitney analyses were used to assess healthcare use. Generalized linear models (GLM) with a gamma distribution (Log Link) were used to evaluate the healthcare costs associated with PTSS.
Results showed a significant difference in the number mental health outpatient visits, the number of total prescriptions and the use (presence of at least one prescription) of antidepressants (ADs) and benzodiazepines (BZDs). The multivariate analyses showed that costs associated with outpatient visits, ED visits, mental health inpatient stays, physician fees, and medication use were significantly associated with the presence of PTSS. The total adjusted healthcare cost difference between groups was significant and reached $838 CAN.
Respondents with PTSS were more likely to be prescribed psychotropic medications and to have higher ambulatory costs but not inpatient services related costs, more research is required to better understand whether the mental health needs of individuals with a probable PTSS are being met.
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