Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Anxious, depressed people over 65 turn more often to alternative therapies

People over 65 who are depressed or anxious turn to complementary or alternative medicine more often than older people who are not anxious or depressed – but not to treat their mental symptoms.

Joseph. G. Grzywacz, Ph.D., and colleagues from Wake Forest University School of Medicine reported in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine that 34.9 percent of people over 65 who had symptoms of anxiety or depression used complementary or alternative medicine (CAM), compared to 26.5 percent of those without mental symptoms.

When praying for health is considered a form of CAM and added in, the percentage jumps to 81.7 percent of those with mental symptoms, compared to 64.6 percent of those without.

But the results showed that fewer than 20 percent of those with anxiety or depression used CAM to treat it. That was a surprise.

"Based on previous research and models of health self management, it was anticipated that CAM use would be greater among older adults with self-reported anxiety or depression than those without such conditions," said Grzywacz, associate professor of family and community medicine.

The results are based on the 2002 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Alternative Health Supplement, which Grzywacz said was "the largest and most representative study of CAM use in the U.S. population to date." The survey included 30,785 persons who participated in face-to-face interviews with U.S. Census Bureau personnel.

People who answered "yes" to the question "During the past 12 months have you been frequently depressed or anxious?" were defined as having anxiety or depression, he said.

"The findings demonstrate that a significantly greater proportion of older adults with anxiety or depression, in contrast to those without these conditions, use CAM," said Grzywacz. "These differences are driven by greater use of spiritual practices, relaxation techniques and non-vitamin, non-mineral natural products."

But he added, "Older adults with anxiety or depression generally do not use CAM to treat their mental conditions."

He said that the 2002 NHIS survey was the first with sufficient numbers of older adults to provide description of CAM use among those with anxiety and depression.

Grzywacz said that mental disorders among older adults are under-diagnosed and under-treated.

Partly, that's because people over 65 don't believe it is treatable. "Older adults frequently report that depressive feelings are a natural part of aging and may not view them as something requiring treatment," said Grzywacz.

Another surprise was that there was no difference among race or ethnic groups in the use of CAM for poor mental health. Last December, Grzywacz and his team reported that, among people over 65, blacks and Native Americans make much greater use of home remedies than whites. The differences seemed to be based on culture rather than access to health care.

In the current study, he said, "in the absence of conventional treatment, we expected that minority elders would seek other therapies to manage their mental health." But that didn't happen.

Robert Conn | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>