Mental health disparities higher for older african American adults

August 13, 2014, Taylor & Francis

A new, revealing literature review suggests that older African American adults are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and dementia. African Americans, Mental Health, and Aging, published in Special Issue: Late-Life Diversity from Clinical Gerontologist (Routledge), reviews the mental health issues among the rapidly growing African American older adult population.

Assessment and treatment of in African American older adults is often complicated by various drivers of disparity. "There are," state the authors, "potentially very few areas of mental health research where there is not a need for further investigation among older African Americans."

Researchers focused on the three most common mental disorders in American patients over 55: depression, anxiety, and dementia. They found that prior studies suggest a tendency towards under-recognition of depression and anxiety among older African Americans. Interpretation of symptoms without proper attention paid to the cultural nuances in their expression is largely to blame, with perceptions of anxiety especially skewed by a glaring underrepresentation of African Americans in the research. Tools for diagnosing dementia, while more aware of cultural biases, still perpetuate misconceptions surrounding the perception and description of symptoms. Disparities in for African American older adults are intensified by these shortcomings alongside a lack of available mental health resources and mistrust of mental health services.

Given the existing disparities in treatment and the projected growth of the African American older adult population, a dire need for further research to into assessment and treatment with a focus on cultural context is obvious.

Explore further: Family history of undertreatment may discourage blacks from seeking mental health care

More information: www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10 … 07317115.2013.847515

Related Stories

Family history of undertreatment may discourage blacks from seeking mental health care

August 8, 2014
Underuse of effective treatments for mental health disorders is more pronounced among African Americans than non-Hispanic whites. A new study attempting to explain this health disparity in the Journal of Health and Social ...

Discrimination associated with mental health woes in black teens

May 3, 2014
The vast majority of African-American and Afro-Caribbean youth face racial discrimination, and these experiences are associated with an increased risk of mental health problems, according to a study to be presented Saturday, ...

Older African-Americans use religious songs to cope with stress, study shows

May 24, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- New research from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Nursing has shown that older African-Americans use religious songs in a personal way to cope with stressful life events. Songs long ...

At-home care cuts depression in older African-Americans

August 20, 2013
(HealthDay)—A home-based intervention delivered by social workers reduces symptoms and improves quality of life in older African-Americans with depressive symptoms, according to research published in the Aug. 20 issue of ...

Study tracks depression in seniors, ethnic groups

July 10, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Major depression is a serious public health problem among older adults in the United States, but tends to affect ethnic groups differently, finds new research led by a Michigan State University scholar.

Inadequate mental health care for blacks with depression and diabetes, high blood pressure

July 25, 2014
A new study in General Hospital Psychiatry confirms that blacks with depression plus another chronic medical condition, such as Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, do not receive adequate mental health treatment.

Recommended for you

Intensive behavior therapy no better than conventional support in treating teenagers with antisocial behavior

January 19, 2018
Research led by UCL has found that intensive and costly multisystemic therapy is no better than conventional therapy in treating teenagers with moderate to severe antisocial behaviour.

Babies' babbling betters brains, language

January 18, 2018
Babies are adept at getting what they need - including an education. New research shows that babies organize mothers' verbal responses, which promotes more effective language instruction, and infant babbling is the key.

College branding makes beer more salient to underage students

January 18, 2018
In recent years, major beer companies have tried to capitalize on the salience of students' university affiliations, unveiling marketing campaigns and products—such as "fan cans," store displays, and billboard ads—that ...

Inherited IQ can increase in early childhood

January 18, 2018
When it comes to intelligence, environment and education matter – more than we think.

Modulating molecules: Study shows oxytocin helps the brain to modulate social signals

January 17, 2018
Between sights, sounds, smells and other senses, the brain is flooded with stimuli on a moment-to-moment basis. How can it sort through the flood of information to decide what is important and what can be relegated to the ...

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.