Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


CAPS seminar 19th December 2017

Speakers: Rachael Frost, Pushpa Nair, Yehudit Bauernfreund

Title: How should we manage frailer older people with depression and anxiety?

Abstract: Depression and anxiety are common in later life, particularly when people have multiple health conditions resulting in frailty or disability. There is evidence that this can lead to faster physical and cognitive decline and increased use of primary care services. However services tailored to this population, who may face mobility or cognitive impairment barriers, are currently limited. There is evidence that the 'oldest old' are less likely to be referred to psychological therapies than the 'younger old' and more likely to be prescribed antidepressants and hypnotics, despite a potentially higher risk of side effects. We are carrying out a number of projects to explore how we can best manage frail older people with depression and anxiety, including 1) a qualitative meta-synthesis of healthcare professionals' views of managing late life depression and referring to psychological therapies, 2) public engagement with older people in day centres about mental health, 3) a systematic review and meta-analysis of non-pharmacological therapies for older people with functional impairments and depression/anxiety, 4) a qualitative meta-synthesis of older people's views regarding the utility and futility of treatment for depression in later life and 5) qualitative interviews with frail older people about their views and experiences of treatment. We will present initial findings from our reviews and public engagement work and discuss our ongoing projects.