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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2004 May;19(5):429-39.

Presentations and management of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the elderly: a need for investigation.

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Trauma Service, The Priory Ticehurst House Hospital, Ticehurst, Wadhurst, East Sussex TN5 7HU, UK.



With an aging population increasing presentations of cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be expected to old age services. While progress has been made in recent years in relation to the understanding and development of aetiological theories, classification, assessment and management strategies and protocols in the adult population, similar advances have lagged behind for the elderly.


To review the adult literature regarding PTSD and discuss how this might apply to an elderly population. An attempt is made to highlight a better awareness of the field of psychological trauma in the elderly in the hope of stimulating debate and research.


A review of the adult literature is conducted relating to classification, aetiology, demographic features, vulnerability, assessment, clinical management including psychotherapy and medications and how these may apply to the elderly.


Little has been published in this field that directly relates to the elderly. The adult literature allows insight into understanding how PTSD may present in the elderly, and how they may be managed.


Further specific research is needed in the elderly in order to facilitate a better understanding of PTSD that present in this unique population. This will lead to better clinical assessment, management and treatment provision.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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