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Confidence of primary care physicians in assessing the suicidality of geriatric patients

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Publication Date: July 2001

Publisher(s): International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Author(s): M.S. Kaplan; M.E. Adamek


Special Collection: The Joyce Foundation


Keywords: suicide; physicians older adults; Illinois

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


This study presents the results of a survey of physicians in Illinois that examined their confidence levels in assessing the risk of suicide among older adults in clinical settings. The survey inquired about specific assessment and treatment approaches, referral resources used, barriers to meeting the mental health needs of older patients, and sources of training in suicide risk assessment.

The survey found that more effective mental health care will require specific physician preparation in treating geriatric patients through the full spectrum of medical training, including medical school, residency, and CME courses. Improved prevention of elderly suicide hinges on the enhancement of clinical skills in diagnosing and treating geriatric depression.