A deficit in psychotherapeutic care for older people with depression and anxiety

Kenneth Laidlaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, the current state of evidence for psychological therapy for depression and anxiety in later life is briefly reviewed and a number of deficits in psychotherapeutic care are outlined and discussed. Deficits are identified as important in preventing older people from accessing the range and types of psychological interventions that would potentially enhance quality of life. In the main, researchers have overlooked anxiety and, relatively speaking, focused more on late life depression even though this occurs less frequently than anxiety disorders and anxiety symptoms. Similarly, psychotherapists have not given due consideration to the global demographic change in lifespan, with the implications of this unprecedented and profound event for psychotherapists rarely discussed. With the current cohort of older people living beyond the expected lifespans of previous generations, most research in psychotherapy with older people recruits from the younger-old age group (60-74 years). As such it is not known how well existing models of psychotherapy will fit this new cohort of older people. This paper briefly reviews these issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-556
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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