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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2001 Jul;104(1):12-8.

Mental disorders among elderly people in primary care: the Linköping study.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Care, Primary Care, The Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Sweden.



The aims of this study were to describe the prevalence of mental disorders among elderly patients in primary care and to compare diagnoses from psychiatric interview with diagnoses in medical records.


Patients aged 70 years and above attending a primary care centre (N = 350) were studied using a psychiatric and medical record examination.


The prevalence of mental disorder according to the psychiatric interview was 33% (16% dementia, 17% other mental disorders). Only 49% of these had any psychiatric diagnosis in case records and 17-38% received specific treatments. The frequency of psychiatric symptoms among those with no mental disorder was between 1% and 66%. Patients with mental disorders were more often females, had more visits to a doctor, more diagnoses in medical records, and were prescribed more drugs.


Mental disorders and symptoms are common among the elderly in primary care. More effort should be made to increase the recognition rate.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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