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Informal carers play an essential role in the care of individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD). This role, however, is often fraught with difficulties, including emotional, physical, and financial. Coping styles and relationship quality have been hypothesized to influence the impact of stressors. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between carers’ coping style, relationship quality, and carer burden.
Thirty-nine PD patient carer dyads were included in the study.
Participants completed self-rated questionnaires including the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, Zarit Burden Interview, and Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced Inventory.
Correlational analyses found significant and positive correlation between carer burden and all three coping styles (problem-focused, emotion-focused, and dysfunctional). There was also a moderate association between carers’ perceived relationship quality and satisfaction and carer burden. Regression analyses found that carer’s gender, severity of PD, relationship quality, emotion-focused, and dysfunctional coping styles did not predict carer burden. Conversely, problem-focused coping style predicted carer burden.
The results highlight that there is no perfect way to react and care for a loved one and serves as important information for practitioners who design and implement interventions.
Many mental disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are associated with poor dietary quality and nutrient intake. There is, however, a deficit of research looking at the relationship between obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) severity, nutrient intake and dietary quality.
This study aims to explore the relationship between OCD severity, nutrient intake and dietary quality.
A post hoc regression analysis was conducted with data combined from two separate clinical trials that included 85 adults with diagnosed OCD, using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5. Nutrient intakes were calculated from the Dietary Questionnaire for Epidemiological Studies version 3.2, and dietary quality was scored with the Healthy Eating Index for Australian Adults – 2013.
Nutrient intake in the sample largely aligned with Australian dietary guidelines. Linear regression models adjusted for gender, age and total energy intake showed no significant associations between OCD severity, nutrient intake and dietary quality (all P > 0.05). However, OCD severity was inversely associated with caffeine (β = −15.50, 95% CI −28.88 to −2.11, P = 0.024) and magnesium (β = −6.63, 95% CI −12.72 to −0.53, P = 0.034) intake after adjusting for OCD treatment resistance.
This study showed OCD severity had little effect on nutrient intake and dietary quality. Dietary quality scores were higher than prior studies with healthy samples, but limitations must be noted regarding comparability. Future studies employing larger sample sizes, control groups and more accurate dietary intake measures will further elucidate the relationship between nutrient intake and dietary quality in patients with OCD.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is often challenging to treat and resistant to psychological interventions and prescribed medications. The adjunctive use of nutraceuticals with potential neuromodulatory effects on underpinning pathways such as the glutamatergic and serotonergic systems is one novel approach.
To assess the effectiveness and safety of a purpose-formulated combination of nutraceuticals in treating OCD: N-acetyl cysteine, L-theanine, zinc, magnesium, pyridoxal-5′ phosphate, and selenium.
A 20-week open label proof-of-concept study was undertaken involving 28 participants with treatment-resistant DSM-5-diagnosed OCD, during 2017 to 2020. The primary outcome measure was the Yale-Brown Obsessive–Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), administered every 4 weeks.
An intention-to-treat analysis revealed an estimated mean reduction across time (baseline to week-20) on the YBOCS total score of −7.13 (95% confidence interval = −9.24, −5.01), with a mean reduction of −1.21 points per post-baseline visit (P ≤ .001). At 20-weeks, 23% of the participants were considered “responders” (YBOCS ≥35% reduction and “very much” or “much improved” on the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement scale). Statistically significant improvements were also revealed on all secondary outcomes (eg, mood, anxiety, and quality of life). Notably, treatment response on OCD outcome scales (eg, YBOCS) was greatest in those with lower baseline symptom levels, while response was limited in those with relatively more severe OCD.
While this pilot study lacks placebo-control, the significant time effect in this treatment-resistant OCD population is encouraging and suggests potential utility especially for those with lower symptom levels. Our findings need to be confirmed or refuted via a follow-up placebo-controlled study.
The literature on late-life anxiety has grown exponentially in the last two decades, and a wide array of research questions are being explored by an ever-growing cadre of clinicians and scientists internationally. In fact, in the last decade, there have been several special journal issues devoted to aspects of anxiety in later life – for example, American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (2011, vol. 19, issue 4), Journal of Anxiety Disorders (2013, vol. 27, issue 6), International Psychogeriatrics (2015, vol. 27, issue 7), and Clinical Gerontologist (2017, vol. 40, issue 3). All have made the point that while our understanding of the etiology, diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of such disorders has grown and continues to increase, there are still many areas requiring further research attention. In addition, experimental techniques to study the biological mechanisms underpinning anxiety continue to grow in sophistication and access.
Historically, clinicians and researchers interested in the mental health of older people have focused on depression and dementia and have given little attention to anxiety except as a complication of depression or dementia. Over recent years, however, research into anxiety in older people has increased substantially, leading to both a burgeoning scientific literature and increasing clinical interest in the field.
Anxiety disorders in later life have historically been overshadowed by strong clinical and epidemiological interest in mood disorders and cognitive disorders. This chapter reviews the key scientific literature on the epidemiology of anxiety disorders in older people and putative risk and protective factors.
Although behavioural and psychological interventions are considered first-line treatments for anxiety disorders in older people (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2014), psychotropic medications are also widely prescribed (Hollingworth & Siskind, 2010). Drugs from a range of psychotropic classes have been used to treat anxiety disorders, including benzodiazepines, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and antipsychotics (Reinhold et al., 2011). While there is clinical trial evidence for the short-term efficacy of drugs from each of these classes, particularly for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), there is scant evidence for long-term effectiveness. Psychotropic drugs exhibit a wide range of adverse effects, including some that pose particular hazards in later life.
Historically, clinicians and researchers have focused on depression and dementia in older people, paying little attention to anxiety except as a complication of these disorders. However, increased research into late-life anxiety has seen a growth in scientific literature and clinical interest. This important book brings together international experts to provide a comprehensive overview of current knowledge in relation to anxiety in older people, highlighting gaps in both theory and practice, and pointing towards the future. Early chapters cover the broader aspects of anxiety disorders, including epidemiology, risk factors, diagnostic issues, association with insomnia, impaired daily functioning, suicidality, and increased use of healthcare services. The book then explores cross-cultural issues, clinical assessment, and pharmacological and psychological interventions across a variety of settings. An invaluable resource for mental health professionals caring for older people including researchers, psychiatrists, psychologists, specialist geriatric nurses and social workers.
Symptoms of anxiety relating to Parkinson's disease (PD) occur commonly and include symptomatology associated with motor disability and complications arising from PD medication. However, there have been relatively few attempts to profile such disease-specific anxiety symptoms in PD. Consequently, anxiety in PD is underdiagnosed and undertreated. The present study characterizes PD-related anxiety symptoms to assist with the more accurate assessment and treatment of anxiety in PD.
Ninety non-demented PD patients underwent a semi-structured diagnostic assessment targeting anxiety symptoms using relevant sections of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI-plus). In addition, they were assessed for the presence of 30 PD-related anxiety symptoms derived from the literature, the clinical experience of an expert panel and the PD Anxiety-Motor Complications Questionnaire (PDAMCQ). The onset of anxiety in relation to the diagnosis of PD was determined.
Frequent (>25%) PD-specific anxiety symptoms included distress, worry, fear, agitation, embarrassment, and social withdrawal due to motor symptoms and PD medication complications, and were experienced more commonly in patients meeting DSM-IV criteria for an anxiety disorder. The onset of common anxiety disorders was observed equally before and after a diagnosis of PD. Patients in a residual group of Anxiety Not Otherwise Specified had an onset of anxiety after a diagnosis of PD.
Careful characterization of PD-specific anxiety symptomatology provides a basis for conceptualizing anxiety and assists with the development of a new PD-specific measure to accurately assess anxiety in PD.
Little is known about the occurrence of psychotic or quasi-psychotic experiences in older people with anxiety disorders.
We used a cross-sectional national probability sample of community-residing individuals to investigate the prevalence and correlates of delusion-like experiences in older people with DSM-IV anxiety disorders. The 2007 Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Well-being (NSMHWB) included 1,905 persons between the ages of 65 and 85 years. Anxiety disorder diagnoses were established using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI v3). Participants were asked about three types of delusion-like experiences: thought control or interference, special meaning, and special powers. We used multivariate logistic regression to examine the relationship between a 12-month history of any anxiety disorder and the presence of these delusion-like experiences, adjusting for several potential confounders.
Eighty-two of 1,905 (4.3%) older people met criteria for an anxiety disorder over the previous 12 months. Of these, six reported delusion-like experiences, whereas the prevalence of these experiences among older people without anxiety disorder was 26/1,822 (7.3% vs. 1.4%; χ2 = 16.5; p = 0.000). In a logistic regression model, male gender (OR 0.38; p = 0.019), separated marital status (OR 4.86; p = 0.017), and the presence of anxiety disorder (OR 5.33; p = 0.001) were independently associated with delusion-like experiences, whereas MMSE (Mini-Mental State Examination) score, general medical conditions and affective disorder were not.
In this cross-sectional study, self-reported delusion-like experiences occurred at increased prevalence among community-residing older persons with anxiety disorder. More work is needed to clarify the nature and significance of these findings.
Declines in financial capacity in later life may arise from both neurocognitive and/or psychiatric disorders. The influence of socio-demographic, cognitive, health, and psychiatric variables on financial capacity performance was explored.
Seventy-six healthy community-dwelling adults and 25 older patients referred for assessment of financial capacity were assessed on pertinent cognitive, psychiatric, and financial capacity measures, including Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination – Revised (ACE-R), Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), Geriatric Anxiety Inventory (GAI), selected Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) items, Financial Competence Assessment Inventory (FCAI), and Social Vulnerability Scale (SVS).
The internal consistency of the debt management subscale of the FCAI was relatively poor in our sample. Financial capacity performance differed between controls and patients. In our sample, performance on the FCAI was predicted by Mini-Mental State Examination, IQCODE, and GAI, but not by ACE-R, GDS, NPI items, or SVS (adjusted R2 = 0.7059).
Anxiety but not depression predicted financial capacity performance, possibly reflecting relatively low variance of depressive symptoms in this sample. Current cognitive decline as measured by the informant-rated IQCODE was more highly correlated to financial capacity than either educational attainment or ACE-R scores. Lack of significance of ACE-R data may reflect the instrument's decreased sensitivity to domains relevant to financial capacity, compared with more detailed neuropsychological assessment tools. The FCAI displayed fairly robust psychometric properties apart from the debt management subscale.
Little is known about the effects of age on the symptoms of anxiety disorder. Accordingly, this study sought to investigate age-related differences in the number and kind of symptoms that distinguish between individuals with and without a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
A sample of 3,486 self-reported worriers was derived from Wave 1 of the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), an epidemiological survey of mental health conducted in the USA in 2001–2002. Participants were stratified into the following age groups (18–29 years, 30–44 years, 45–64 years, 65–98 years), and then divided into diagnostic groups (GAD and non-GAD worriers).
Binary logistic regression analyses revealed that four distinct sets of symptoms were associated with GAD in each age group, and that numerically fewer symptoms were associated with GAD in older adults. Moreover, there were graduated changes in the type and number of symptoms associated with GAD in each successive age group.
There are graduated, age-related differences in the phenomenology of GAD that might contribute to challenges in the detection of late-life anxiety.
Thoughts about death and self-harm in old age have been commonly associated with the presence of depression, but other risk factors may also be important.
To determine the independent association between suicidal ideation in later life and demographic, lifestyle, socioeconomic, psychiatric and medical factors.
A cross-sectional study was conducted of a community-derived sample of 21290 adults aged 60-101 years enrolled from Australian primary care practices. We considered that participants endorsing any of the four items of the Depressive Symptom Inventory - Suicidality Subscale were experiencing suicidal thoughts. We used standard procedures to collect demographic, lifestyle, psychosocial and clinical data. Anxiety and depressive symptoms were assessed with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
The 2-week prevalence of suicidal ideation was 4.8%. Male gender, higher education, current smoking, living alone, poor social support, no religious practice, financial strain, childhood physical abuse, history of suicide in the family, past depression, current anxiety, depression or comorbid anxiety and depression, past suicide attempt, pain, poor self-perceived health and current use of antidepressants were independently associated with suicidal ideation. Poor social support was associated with a population attributable fraction of 38.0%, followed by history of depression (23.6%), concurrent anxiety and depression (19.7%), prevalent anxiety (15.1%), pain (13.7%) and no religious practice (11.4%).
Prevalent and past mood disorders seem to be valid targets for indicated interventions designed to reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviour. However, our data indicate that social disconnectedness and stress account for a larger proportion of cases than mood disorders. Should these associations prove to be causal, then interventions that succeeded in addressing these issues would contribute the most to reducing suicidal ideation and, possibly, suicidal behaviour in later life.