Anxiety in the Older Adult: References

There is an increased occurrence of anxiety disorders in older adults. However, being able to recognize the disorder can be very complicated, because symptoms and expression of the disorder can vary depending on age. This leads to either misdiagnosis or no diagnosis at all, which can be detrimental to the affected individual for several reasons. There is opportunity for improvement in  advanced practice nurses’ understanding of the knowledge surrounding anxiety and treatment of anxiety in older adults.


Advanced Practice Nurses need to be aware of how anxiety symptoms are displayed in older adults, and be able to understand DSM-V criteria, as it relates to diagnosing anxiety. Along with this knowledge, it is important for APN’s to identify the medical, cultural, and psychosocial issues surrounding treatment to understand how best to prescribe treatment to the patient.


Anxiety is becoming more and more prevalent among older adults. It is estimated that the prevalence of anxiety disorder among older adult populations is 3.2 to 14.2% (Wolitzky-Taylor, Castriotta, Lenze, Stanley, & Craske, 2010).  In addition to this, there is not a large body of literature surrounding the issue. Like many other mental disorders, there is an increased risk when other medical and brain conditions are present(Wolitzky-Taylor, Castriotta, Lenze, Stanley, & Craske, 2010). This further emphasizes the need for providers to understand the varied expression and symptomology of anxiety in older adults, as well as understanding the importance of prescribing treatment that best fits the patient.



Clinical Practice. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Cohen, D. & Eisdorfer, C. (2011). Integrated textbook of geriatric mental health, The Johns Hopkins University Press

Ebert, M. & Leckman, J. (2015). Current diagnosis and treatment: Psychiatry (2nd ed.) Appelton & Lange (3rd edition due out in November)

Perese, E.F. (2012) Psychiatric Advanced practice nursing: A biopsychosocial foundation for practice, F.A.Davis

Prost E. (2018). Geriatric Examination Tool Kit. University of Missouri, School of Health Professions, Department of Physical Therapy

Splash. (2018). Retrieved from

Stahl, S. M. (2013) Stahls. essential psychopharmacology (4th ed), Cambridge Medicine

Tusaire, K.R. & Fitzpatrick J.J. (2013) Advanced practice nursing: Integrating psychotherapy, psychopharmacology and complementary and alternative approaches, Springer

Additional Resources


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