Are changes in routine health behaviours the missing link between bereavement and poor physical and mental health?

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Olivia Maynard summarises a systematic review of changes in routine health behaviours following later life bereavement, which finds strong support for changes in nutrition, sleep quality and weight status after bereavement.

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Do we stigmatise mental illness more as we age?

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Raluca Lucacel writes her debut blog about an age-period-cohort analysis, which investigates how attitudes towards people with mental illness worsen during the course of life.

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What factors determine the need for social care in older age?

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Martin Stevens interrogates an analysis of a longitudinal study dataset to discover what it says about determinants of social care and support use in older age.

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ECT for depression in the elderly

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Andrew Shepherd reports on a post-hoc analysis of pre-existing trial data, which does little to convince him that ECT is a safe and effective treatment option for older people with severe depression.

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Mental health support for older adults needs to improve

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Dave Steele summarises an NIHR funded mixed methods study that concludes we don’t know much about how we should support older adults with mental health problems, except to say that we should be doing better.

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Lost in anxiety: treatment-resistant anxiety in older people

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Andrés Fonseca appraises a new systematic review of interventions for treatment-resistant anxiety in older people, which finds a disconcerting lack of evidence to help him support the many older patients he sees who are affected by anxiety disorders.

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Psychotherapy for depression in older adults: promising results, but insufficient good quality research

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This recent meta-analysis confirms that psychotherapy has a moderate to high effect on depression in older adults. However, a note of caution is sounded because of publication bias and the low quality of several of the included studies.

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Challenges in respecting autonomy in end-of-life care of people with learning disabilities

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Autonomy is defined as the freedom to determine one’s own actions or behaviour. It is a value at the heart of health and social care support and those supporting people with learning disabilities are constantly striving to maintain and indeed increase the autonomy of those they provide help to. The authors of this Netherlands based [read the full story…]