Consensus statement on the upcoming crisis in geriatric mental health: research agenda for the next 2 decades

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999 Sep;56(9):848-53. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.56.9.848.


It is anticipated that the number of people older than 65 years with psychiatric disorders in the United States will increase from about 4 million in 1970 to15 million in 2030. The current health care system serves mentally ill older adults poorly and is unprepared to meet the upcoming crisis in geriatric mental health. We recommend the formulation of a 15- to 25-year plan for research on mental disorders in elderly persons. It should include studies of prevention, translation of findings from bench to bedside, large-scale intervention trials with meaningful outcome measures, and health services research. Innovative strategies are needed to formulate new conceptualizations of psychiatric disorders, especially those given scant attention in the past. New methods of clinical and research training involving specialists, primary care clinicians, and the lay public are warranted.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Clinical Protocols / standards
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Forecasting
  • Geriatric Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Geriatric Psychiatry / education
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Prevalence
  • Research / standards*
  • Research Design / statistics & numerical data
  • Research Design / trends
  • Research Support as Topic
  • United States / epidemiology