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Detection and Assessment of Late-Life Anxiety
Detection and Assessment of Late-Life Anxiety


 
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Detection and Assessment of Late-Life Anxiety


Anxiety symptoms and disorders are both common and disabling among older adults. A variety of factors regularly confound the detection and treatment of late-life anxiety, including the failure to recognize subthreshold anxiety disorders as clinically significant; the ways in which older adults describe their anxiety experiences; the tendency of older adults to focus on somatic symptoms and complaints; and concurrent problems that may cause or contribute to anxiety symptoms, particularly depression, dementia, physical health problems, and late-life psychosocial changes. A number of negative outcomes are regularly associated with anxiety symptoms in older adults and underscore the importance of accurate assessment, referral, and treatment. Detection and assessment are essential to accurately identifying and treating clinically significant anxiety and to simultaneously address factors that cause or contribute to anxiety-related symptoms, distress, and discomfort, and functional limitations.


The purpose of this evidence-based guideline is to improve the detection and assessment of anxiety symptoms among older adults. The simplicity of the guideline and associated assessment methods make the guideline appropriate for use by all levels of health care practitioners, including advanced practice and generalists nurses, as well as nursing assistants; physicians, physician assistants and medical assistants; social workers; and occupational, recreational, activity and physical therapists and their assistants. Likewise, this guideline is appropriate for use in diverse settings where older adults receive health-related services, including their home, adult day health services, community-based programs, residential and assisted living centers, nursing homes and other long-term care settings, and out-patient and acute care services. Written 2008; Revised 2018.


Toolkit Included in Guideline:

  • Six-Item Screeners (SIS)
  • Seven-Item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7)
  • Two-Item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-2)
  • Rating Anxiety in Dementia (RAID)
  • Knowledge Assessment Test
  • Process Evaluation Monitor
  • Outcomes Monitor
  • Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC): Anxiety Reduction – 5820
  • Nursing Outcomes Classification (NOC): Anxiety Level – 1211

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Before you proceed, please note we do not grant permission to use and/or copy any one individual tool not developed under the Barbara and Richard Csomay Center for Gerontological Excellence. For individual tool use, please contact the author/publisher of that tool.

By purchasing and downloading permissions for the Guideline and Toolkit you agree to the following terms:

  1. Guideline and Toolkit are for private, internal, non-commercial use only (unless special permissions are obtained).
  2. If the Guideline and Toolkit will be distributed online, it must be password protected and unavailable to the general public.
  3. Guideline and Toolkit cannot be modified without expressed consent from author(s) and/or publisher.
  4. You must give appropriate credit when using materials from the Guideline and Toolkit by using the citation on the Contact Information (or Contact Resource) page of the Guideline and place the following copyright notice at the bottom of the page, " ©2018 the University of Iowa, College of Nursing, Barbara and Richard Csomay Center for Gerontological Excellence. All rights reserved. Do not copy or reproduce without permission."
  5. You may not reprint and/or redistribute materials from the Guideline or Toolkit for any of your own publications. Please email Csomay-Center@uiowa.edu if you wish to obtain permission to use material from the Guideline or Toolkit in a publication.

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