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J Gerontol. 1987 Mar;42(2):147-53.

Mental health services use by elderly adults in a primary care setting.


This study examined the use of general health, mental health, and other medical specialty services by elderly persons 65 and older with mental disorders and compares them with adults 45 to 64 and 18 to 44. Data were collected at the Bunker Hill Health Center (BHHC), a Boston neighborhood health center providing a broad range of ambulatory medical and specialty mental health services. Results show that the 5-year rate of mental disorder diagnoses for elderly individuals is not significantly different from persons 45 to 64, although it is higher than the rate for young adults 18 to 44. Not only were elderly adults less likely to see a mental health specialist, but when they did, their use of mental health specialty services was usually lower.

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