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Original Article
4 (
Supp 1
); S24-S30
doi:
10.4103/0976-3147.116438

Identifying elders with neuropsychiatric problems in a clinical setting

Geriatric Clinic and Services, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
Address for correspondence: Dr. Girish N Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences Bangalore - 560 029, Karnataka India girishnrao@yahoo.com
Licence
This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Disclaimer:
This article was originally published by Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd. and was migrated to Scientific Scholar after the change of Publisher; therefore Scientific Scholar has no control over the quality or content of this article.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Objective: Multiple health problems among the elderly necessitate a comprehensive enquiry to detect problems early and also initiate treatment. We utilized available validated instruments to comprehensively identify older persons with neuro‑psychiatric problems including dementia and comorbid medical ailments in the screening desk of the geriatric clinic. Materials and Methods: Individuals aged 60 years and above seeking outpatient care at NIMHANS during a 2‑year period (October 2008‑September 2010) participated. We used General Health Questionnaire (12-item), AD8, questions to identify psychoses and neurological problems and a checklist of common medical ailments. A probable clinical diagnosis was made at the end by medical personnel based on ICD-10. Results: A total of 5,260 individuals were screened and more than one-third (36.7%) were women. About 50% had psychological distress (≥2 on GHQ-12), 20.1% had probable cognitive impairment (≥2 on AD8) and about 17% had symptoms suggestive of psychoses (≥1 on Psychoses screener). More than 65% had either a neurological or neurosurgical problems (≥1 on Neurological screener) and headache was the commonest complaint. At probable diagnosis, more than 50% had a neurological problem and over 30% had psychiatric disorders. Of these the most common psychiatric illnesses were psychotic disorders (22.0%), mood disorders (21.4%) and dementia (14.4%). The most common medical comorbidity included hypertension (36.4%), visual impairment (31.8%) and joint pains (30.5%). Nearly 80% had one or more medical comorbidity in addition to psychiatric illness. The overall set of instruments took about 15-20 minutes. It systematically and comprehensively guided in evaluating the elderly for neuropsychiatric problems and hence was collated to constitute the Instruments for Comprehensive Evaluation of the Elderly (ICE-E). Conclusions: ICE-E was brief, easy to administer and improved decision making even by personnel from a non-medical background. The instrument aided in systematically detecting neuro-psychiatric problems among the elderly (including psychological distress and cognitive changes) and other medical comorbidities.

Keywords

Comorbidity
Elderly
Instruments screening
Mental health
Neuro-psychiatric problems

Conflict of Interest

None declared

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