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Clin Geriatr Med. 2003 Nov;19(4):841-56, vii-viii.

End-of-life care in geriatric psychiatry.

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Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Mental Health, P3MHDC, P.O. Box 1034, Portland, OR 97207, USA.


Depression, anxiety and delirium are relatively common during the final stages of terminal disease, and each can profoundly impact the quality of those last days for both patient and involved family. In this article the authors review the assessment and treatment of each syndrome in the context of palliative care for older adults. Treatment of mental disorders at the end of life warrants special consideration due to the need to balance the benefits of treatment against the potential burden of the intervention, especially those that might worsen quality of life. Dementia and the complications of depression and behavioral disturbance within dementia are also discussed. Finally, caregivers of dying patients are vulnerable to stress, depression, grief, and complicated bereavement. Interventions for caregivers who are debilitated by these states are briefly summarized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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