Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

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

10.07.2006
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:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

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: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>