Threshold and subthreshold generalized anxiety disorder in later life

Miloyan, Beyon, Byrne, Gerard J. and Pachana, Nancy A. (2015) Threshold and subthreshold generalized anxiety disorder in later life. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 23 6: 633-641. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2014.08.010

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Author Miloyan, Beyon
Byrne, Gerard J.
Pachana, Nancy A.
Title Threshold and subthreshold generalized anxiety disorder in later life
Journal name American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1064-7481
Publication date 2015-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jagp.2014.08.010
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 23
Issue 6
Start page 633
End page 641
Total pages 9
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: Symptoms and disorders of anxiety are highly prevalent among older adults; however, late-life anxiety disorders remain underdiagnosed. The objective of this study was to (1) estimate the prevalence of late-life threshold and subthreshold generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), (2) examine sociodemographic and health correlates associated with membership in these groups, (3) assess 3-year conversion rates of these groups, and (4) explore characteristics associated with 3-year conversion to GAD.

Methods: Using Waves 1 and 2 of the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions, 13,420 participants aged 55–98 years were included in this study.

Results: Subthreshold GAD was more highly prevalent than threshold GAD and was interposed between asymptomatic and GAD groups in terms of severity of health characteristics. Although most participants with subthreshold and threshold GAD were asymptomatic by Wave 2, differences in disability persisted. Subthreshold GAD at baseline was not a predictor of threshold GAD at follow-up.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that late-life GAD should be conceptualized as a dimensional rather than categorical construct. The temporal stability of anxiety-associated disability further suggests that subthreshold GAD bears clinical significance. However, the suitability and efficacy of interventions for minimizing negative sequelae in this group remain to be determined.
Keyword Anxiety
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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