Who worries most? Worry prevalence and patterns across the lifespan

Goncalves, Daniela C. and Byrne, Gerard J. (2012) Who worries most? Worry prevalence and patterns across the lifespan. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 28 1: 41-49. doi:10.1002/gps.3788

Author Goncalves, Daniela C.
Byrne, Gerard J.
Title Who worries most? Worry prevalence and patterns across the lifespan
Journal name International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0885-6230
Publication date 2012-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/gps.3788
Open Access Status
Volume 28
Issue 1
Start page 41
End page 49
Total pages 9
Place of publication Bognor Regis, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To examine the age-related worry patterns in a population-based sample of self-reported worriers.
Methods: The National Survey of Mental Health and Well-Being is a multistage stratified epidemiologic survey of mental health conducted in Australia in 2007. Participants were surveyed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. All participants who reported a period of pervasive worry were included in this study (N = 3735, 16–85 years of age, 61% female).
Results: Compared with younger adults (16–29 years of age; N = 860), older adults (65–85 years of age; N = 639) reported fewer worries [odds ratio (OR) = 0.36, p < 0.01] and a lower likelihood of worrying about interpersonal relations (OR = 0.66, p < 0.01), health (OR = 0.65, p < 0.05), work (OR = 0.39, p < 0.01), and miscellaneous topics (OR = 0.57, p < 0.01), but a higher likelihood of worrying about the health and welfare of loved ones (OR = 2.46, p < 0.01) after adjusting for socio-demographic and clinical factors. Similar patterns were seen in older persons with and without a lifetime history of generalized anxiety disorder as diagnosed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Conclusions: The findings indicated an overall decrease in worry count with advancing age, as well as a developmental distribution of worry content, and a quantitative but not qualitative distinction between normal and pathological worriers. Overall, these findings might contribute to the understanding of worry processes and the phenomenology of generalized anxiety disorder in older cohorts.
Keyword Ageing
Mental health
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID SFRH/BD/30226/2006
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 28 FEB 2012

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 17 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 15 Jun 2012, 02:16:09 EST by Sheila Cleary on behalf of Psychiatry - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital