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November 15, 1995

Geriatric Psychiatry and the Limits of MeSH

Author Affiliations

American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry Bethesda, Md

Medical College of Pennsylvania/ Hahnemann University School of Medicine Philadelphia

JAMA. 1995;274(19):1508-1509. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530190022023

To the Editor.  —The review of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry by Drs Bowden and Long1 is positive about the scope and contents of this new journal, now in its third volume. However, the review goes on to state that there were fewer than 120 articles with the subject heading of geriatric psychiatry in MEDLINE for 1990 through mid 1994 and concludes that "the number of articles published thus far does not provide convincing evidence that the need exists for another highly specialized journal." We feel an obligation to point out that the methods used to estimate the number of published articles in this field were incorrect. According to the MEDLINE scope note, the MeSH heading geriatric psychiatry refers to "a subspecialty of psychiatry concerned with the mental health of the aged" and that it is "not for mental disorders in the aged"; thus, the heading is used

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