HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders in Elderly U.S. Military Veterans: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review

Article

This paper explores mental health problems in older veterans and reviews studies into this area of research.

Abstract

Older veterans may be vulnerable to mental health problems. Metaanalytic and systematic review methods sought to determine the prevalence rate of mental health disorders in older military veterans (≥65 years). Although conducted exclusively with U.S. veterans, high prevalence rates of substance (5.7%) and alcohol use disorders (5.4%) in older veterans were found. However, the prevalence of other mental health disorders, including PTSD and depression, in older veterans was not markedly high. The rates of disorder prevalence observed indicates a need for continued awareness of mental health difficulties, particularly substance and alcohol use disorders, in older veterans. In the future studies with non-U.S. military samples using a longitudinal design are required to further understand the prevalence of mental health disorders in geriatric veterans.

Full Reference

Williamson, V., Stevelink, S. A., Greenberg, K., Greenberg, N., 2017. The Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders in Elderly US Military Veterans: a Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.