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Personality disorders in the elderly 

Personality disorders in the elderly
Chapter:
Personality disorders in the elderly
Author(s):

Suzanne Holroyd

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199696758.003.0203
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date: 23 August 2019

The study of personality disorder (PD) in late life presents conceptual, diagnostic, and methodological difficulties. By definition, PD is considered a group of personality traits that relatively persistent through adulthood. However, the concept of PD persisting throughout the lifespan contradicts widespread clinical belief that they become less severe with ageing. There are difficulties in studying PD in the elderly. One is the instability of the definition of PD over time, making it difficult to relate earlier studies to those using current definitions of PD. In addition, diagnostic criteria are subject to criticism when applied to the elderly, in that they may be ‘age-biased’. Finally, the methodology used to diagnose PD has been highly variable and difficult to interpret between studies. This chapter covers clinical features, diagnosis, epidemiology and aetiology, course and prognosis, and treatment and management.

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