Year : 2012  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 91-

Psychiatric and physical morbidity in an urban geriatric population - Some issues


Supriya Agarwal, Om Prakash 
 Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), Dilshad Garden, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Supriya Agarwal
Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), Dilshad Garden, Delhi
India




How to cite this article:
Agarwal S, Prakash O. Psychiatric and physical morbidity in an urban geriatric population - Some issues.Indian J Psychiatry 2012;54:91-91


How to cite this URL:
Agarwal S, Prakash O. Psychiatric and physical morbidity in an urban geriatric population - Some issues. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 Oct 31 ];54:91-91
Available from: https://www.indianjpsychiatry.org/text.asp?2012/54/1/91/94656


Full Text

Sir,

Seby et al. [1] attempt to explore mental and physical health of elderly population is commendable. The study is very important as geriatric population is gradually rising over past decades, and thus the need of being aware of issues related to geriatric population has become quite necessary for every mental health professional. [2],[3]

The authors failed to establish the association of physical illness with the mental illness due to small sample size. However, some concerns regarding the study persist. The points that appear in the discussion section should be cautiously judged with respect to the results obtained. Some clinical findings and the results are extrapolated and cannot be generalized e.g. the discussion about visual impairment in alcoholic elderly based on a single alcohol dependent patient. Moreover, there is a felt need to provide details regarding method of exploring physical illness, especially rheumatic heart disease (RHD), and any physical investigations or physician's help taken for doing so. There are some typographic errors that appear in the article, for example, [Table 5] [1] suggested that RHD was more common in depressive patients (6) as compared to dementia patients (3).However, the authors reported in results that RHD was more common in the dementia patients.

The authors used valid instruments in this vulnerable population, such as 15-item version of geriatric depression scale (GDS-15) (th http://www.stanford.edu/~yesavage/GDS.html) that is considered to be a suitable instrument to diagnose depression in the medical elderly population. [4] From the article, it seems difficult to understand the various components of GDS-15 like generalized anxiety scale, phobic scale, and panic scale (page 122, para 5 right) which seem to be separate tools altogether. In methodology, the authors missed to mention training and inter-rater reliability of social workers or assessors employed to recruit the study subjects.

Nevertheless, the authors tried well to evaluate the co-morbidities in urban geriatric population. Undoubtedly, there is a need of more well-designed studies in this neglected area.

References

1Seby K, Chaudhury S, Chakraborty R. Prevalence of psychiatric and physical morbidity in an urban geriatric population. Indian J Psychiatry 2011;53:121-7.
2Prakash O, Gupta LN, Singh VB, Singhal AK, Verma KK. Profile of psychiatric disorders and life events in medically ill elderly: Experiences from geriatric clinic in Northern India. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2007;22:1101-5.
3Tiwari SC, Tripathi RK, Kumar A. Applicability of the Mini-mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Hindi Mental State Examination (HMSE) to the urban elderly in India: A pilot study. Int Psychogeriatr 2009;21:123-8.
4Prakash O, Gupta LN, Singh VB, Nagrajarao N. Applicability of 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale to detect depression in elderly medical outpatients. Asian J Psychiatry 2009;2:63-5.