Older Adults' Role in the Misdiagnosis of Depressive Symptoms

By Charlene Lane.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A recent study conducted in a naturally occurring retirement community (NORC) in Five Towns, Long Island, New York revealed not only are older adults maintaining their independence as long as possible , they abhor any semblance of being less able to function in the community. As a result of this tenacious sense of independence, a large percentage of older adults interviewed revealed being hesitant to express feelings of sadness, depression, or any mental health related conditions to their primary care physicians. In some instances primary care physicians may be remiss in addressing depressive symptoms in their older patients. Seniors sometimes contribute to this under or misdiagnosis because they are hesitant to disclose symptoms around mental health issues. This is because they do not want to be perceived as less able to maintain their independence and appear psychologically inept.

Keywords: Older Adults, Depression, Primary Care Physicians

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.61-69. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 332.173KB).

Dr. Charlene Lane

Assistant Professor, Social Work and Gerontology, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, NY, USA

Dr. Charlene G. Lane is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has over 19 years of clinical as well as administrative experiences. Dr. Lane holds a BA degree in Psychology from York College (CUNY) a Masters in Clinical Social Work from New York University and a Doctorate in Social Work from Adelphi University in Garden City New York. In addition to her clinical and administrative experiences, Dr. Lane has taught as an adjunct professor since 2004 at Fordham University and Touro College (both in New York). She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work and Gerontology at Shippensburg University, PA. Prior to "Ship U" she served as an Assistant Professor at York College (CUNY), New York in the Department of Health, Physical Education & Gerontology.