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Long term antidepressant use in a cohort of older people

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posted on 2022-12-13, 14:11 authored by Aoife O'Neill, John Mc FarlandJohn Mc Farland, DERVLA KELLYDERVLA KELLY
Objectives: Depression is the most common mental health problem in older adults and untreated is associated with significant burden of illness for patients. This study aimed to examine longitudinal patterns of antidepressant use in older adults and determine which factors were associated with changes in use. Methods: Adults aged 50 and over, from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, who participated at any one of the four TILDA waves (n = 8,175) were included in the analysis. Repeated measures latent class analysis (RMLCA) is the model-based approach we used to identify underlying subgroups in a population. Results: We found antidepressant use ranged from 6% to 10%, over a 6-year period. RMLCA identified three distinct classes of anti-depressant use. Notably, 6% of older adults were categorised in a ‘long-term antidepressant use’ class, with consistent use across all four waves, and 6% were categorised in an ‘Intermittent/ Developing Use’ class. We found long-term antidepressant use to be a characteristic of older adults with chronic conditions at baseline of study and striking low uptake of psychological and psychiatric services. Conclusions: These findings provide evidence of the complex presentations of depression with comorbidities in long-term antidepressant users. While prolonged use of antidepressants in an older cohort is often rationalised due to recurrent depression and comorbidities, this study suggests little deprescribing of antidepressants and a need for greater access and provision of psychological services tailored to later life seem necessary improve management of this condition.

History

Publication

International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry;

Publisher

Wiley and Sons Ltd

Note

peer-reviewed

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This is the peer reviewed author version of the following article: Long term antidepressant use in a cohort of older people, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/gps.5518 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving. http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-828039.html#terms

Language

English

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  • Health Research Institute (HRI)

Department or School

  • Allied Health
  • School of Medicine

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