Depression and bipolar support alliance consensus statement on the unmet needs in diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders in late life
Delivery of Health Care
Health Services Needs and Demand
Despite the availability of safe and efficacious treatments, mood disorders remain a significant health care issue for the elderly and are associated with disability, functional decline, diminished quality of life, mortality from comorbid medical conditions or suicide, demands on caregivers, and increased service utilization. Discriminatory coverage and reimbursement policies for mental health care are a challenge for the elderly, especially those with modest incomes, and for clinicians. Minorities are particularly underserved. Access to mental health care services for most elderly individuals is inadequate, and coordination of services is lacking. There is an immediate need for collaboration among patients, families, researchers, clinicians, governmental agencies, and third-party payers to improve diagnosis, treatment, and delivery of services for elderly persons with mood disorders.