Psychiatric diagnosis and intervention in older and younger patients in a primary care clinic: Effect of a screening and diagnostic instrument

Marcia Valenstein, Helen Kales, Alan Mellow, Gregory Dalack, Sara Figueroa, Kristen Lawton Barry, Frederic C. Blow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether patient age is associated with psychiatric diagnosis or provider intervention in a busy primary care clinic, and, if so, whether a screening and diagnostic tool, the PRIME-MD, modifies age-related differences. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: PRIME-MD use, psychiatric diagnosis, and provider interventions for psychiatric conditions were recorded for eligible patients attending a Veterans Affairs Medical Center primary care clinic. Data from 952 younger (< 65 years) and 1135 older patients (≥ 65 years) were analyzed to determine whether there were age- related differences in diagnosis/intervention and if use of the PRIME-MD modified these differences. INTERVENTION: Implementation of the PRIME-MD, a two-step instrument consisting of a self-administered patient questionnaire and a provider-administered structured diagnostic interview. MEASUREMENTS: Outcome measures were rates of (1) PRIME-MD use, (2) overall psychiatric diagnosis, (3) new psychiatric diagnosis, and (4) provider intervention for psychiatric conditions. RESULTS: There was no association between patient age and PRIME-MD use. Older patients were less likely to receive a psychiatric diagnosis in analyses that adjusted for 'highly positive' screening questionnaires (OR = .45; P < .001). Older patients were also less likely to receive an intervention for a psychiatric condition in analyses that adjusted for whether a psychiatric diagnosis (OR = .62, P = .015) or a new psychiatric diagnosis (OR= .36, P < .001) was made during the study visit. The PRIME-MD increased rates of diagnosis and intervention but did not alter age-related disparities. CONCLUSIONS: Decreased rates of psychiatric diagnosis and intervention in older primary care patients are of concern. Implementing the PRIME-MD will likely increase rates of diagnosis and intervention but will need to be accompanied by additional measures to eliminate age-related disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1499-1505
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume46
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Psychiatric diagnosis and intervention in older and younger patients in a primary care clinic: Effect of a screening and diagnostic instrument'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this