The prevalence of psychiatric disorders in elderly residents of public housing

The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
P V RabinsJ Cook


This study estimates lifetime and one-month prevalence of psychiatric disorders among elderly public housing residents. Nine hundred forty-five residents of six public housing developments for the elderly were administered the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and the CAGE by lay interviewers. Residents screening positive and a 10% random sample of screen negatives were administered the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID) and a DSM-III-R derived algorithm for dementia and delirium. Prevalence rates were estimated based on weighted data from 298 subjects. Thirty-six percent of participants screened positive on at least one instrument. Based on the case identification interview, estimated lifetime prevalence of psychiatric disorders was 57.6%, and one-month prevalence was 27.9%. Cognitive disorder (10.5%), mood disorder (8.0%), psychotic disorder (4.6%), and substance abuse/dependence (4.4%) were the most common current disorders. Mood disorders (26.6%) and substance abuse/dependence (23.0%) were the most prevalent lifetime disorders. Compared to data from the Epidemiologic Catchment Area, public housing residents have higher current rates of mood disorder, schizophrenia,...Continue Reading


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