Clinical significance of worry and physical symptoms in late-life generalized anxiety disorder

Miloyan, Beyon and Pachana, Nancy A. (2015) Clinical significance of worry and physical symptoms in late-life generalized anxiety disorder. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 30 12: 1186-1194. doi:10.1002/gps.4273


Author Miloyan, Beyon
Pachana, Nancy A.
Title Clinical significance of worry and physical symptoms in late-life generalized anxiety disorder
Journal name International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0885-6230
1099-1166
Publication date 2015-12-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/gps.4273
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 30
Issue 12
Start page 1186
End page 1194
Total pages 9
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley and Sons
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective
Worry is a hallmark feature of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). However, age-related changes in symptom presentation raise questions about the clinical significance of these symptom clusters in later life. The aim of this study was to explore the relative contribution of worry and physical symptom frequency to clinical significance associated with late-life GAD.

Methods
A sample of 637 self-reported worriers (aged 65 years and older) was extracted from Wave 1 of the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions.

Results
Consistent with previous findings, we observed reductions in worry frequency and increases in physical symptom frequency with increasing age of participants. Physical symptoms, but not worry symptoms, distinguished older adults with clinical and sub-threshold GAD. Whereas physical symptom count was associated with distress, occupational, and functional disability, worry count was only associated with distress.

Conclusions
Among self-reported worriers, worry frequency provides limited clinical utility over and above physical symptom frequency. These findings suggest that physical symptom frequency may become an increasingly important feature of GAD in later life.
Keyword Clinical significance
Diagnostic
GAD
Older adult
Somatic
Worry
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 Psychology Publications
 
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