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February 25, 1961

Psychiatric Management of the Aged

JAMA. 1961;175(8):645-648. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040080001001

Within the next few years more and more of the responsibility for meeting the increasing emotional needs of our aging population will fall on the general practitioner and the internist. Two of the symptoms most commonly encountered in elderly patients with psychiatric problems are depressive episodes and hypochondriasis. More widespread understanding of the etiology, recognition, and treatment of these conditions will make it possible for nonpsychiatric physicians to care for many emotionally disturbed old people who might otherwise require psychiatric consultation and possibly hospitalization. In this paper emphasis has been placed on the management of patients with these two symptoms and on positive steps that can be taken in middle life and beyond to prevent mental ill health in the later years.