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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2014 Dec;22(12):1391-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2013.04.017. Epub 2013 Sep 5.

Comparison of anxiety as reported by older people with intellectual disabilities and by older people with normal intelligence.

Author information

1
Intellectual Disability Medicine, Department of General Practice, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Amarant, Healthcare Organization for People With Intellectual Disabilities, Tilburg, The Netherlands. Electronic address: h.hermans.1@erasmusmc.nl.
2
Department of Psychiatry, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Intellectual Disability Medicine, Department of General Practice, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Older people with intellectual disabilities (ID) may experience more and different symptoms of anxiety than older people with normal intelligence.

STUDY QUESTIONS:

(1) Is the reported severity of anxiety in this group similar to that in the general older population; (2) Are specific anxiety symptoms reported as frequently by both groups?

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional.

SETTING:

Formal Dutch intellectual disability services and Dutch population-based study.

PARTICIPANTS:

One hundred fifty-four participants of the Healthy Ageing and Intellectual Disability study with mild or moderate ID (IQ <70), aged 55-85 years, and 2,917 participants of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam with normal intelligence, aged 55-85 years.

MEASUREMENTS:

The general anxiety subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

RESULTS:

Mean (standard deviation) Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale total score of subjects with ID was significantly higher than that of subjects with normal intelligence (3.53 [3.03]) versus 2.53 [3.30]; p <0.01), whereas the percentage of scores above cutoff in both groups was similar. Four of 7 items were more often reported as present by subjects with ID: "tense or wound up feelings," "frightened feelings," "worrying thoughts," and "sudden feelings of panic."

CONCLUSIONS:

Older people with ID report more symptoms of anxiety than older people with normal intelligence. Tense feelings and worrying especially need more attention, because more than one-half of all older people with ID reported such symptoms.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; anxiety; intellectual disability

PMID:
24012225
DOI:
10.1016/j.jagp.2013.04.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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