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Primary care management of older people with mental health problems 

Primary care management of older people with mental health problems
Chapter:
Primary care management of older people with mental health problems
Author(s):

Louise Robinson

and Carolyn Chew-Graham

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199644957.003.0023
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date: 22 November 2017

This chapter discusses the presentation and primary care management of the commonest mental health problems in older people; these include delirium, delusions, depression and anxiety, and dementia. Primary care is on the front line in dealing with older people who have mental health problems, supporting their families to care for them and managing people with complex co-morbidities in addition to mental health issues. Older people consult their GP almost twice as often as other age groups and up to 40% may have a mental health problem. Cases drawn from the authors’ real-life practice are presented firstly to represent clinical presentations and management within primary care and secondly to demonstrate how primary care links with secondary care and the wider services. The management of patients is discussed largely within reference to UK primary care systems and policy, but the international readership should find parallels within their own healthcare systems.

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