An Overview of Anxiety, Trauma-Related and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders

Michelle L. Conroy, Laura I. van Dyck, Chadrick E. Lane, Joan M. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Abstract: Purpose of Review: Anxiety, trauma-related and obsessive-compulsive disorders are relatively common in older adults, and may go undetected, with potential negative physical, psychological, and psychosocial consequences. These mental health conditions are frequently comorbid with medical, cognitive, and other psychiatric disorders. Screening in primary care settings is an essential first step in recognition and diagnosis. Recent Findings: The American Geriatrics Society published the Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults in 2019. The recommendations provide pharmacological guidance in older adults; given side effect profiles, careful consideration before initiating pharmacological interventions in anxiety, trauma-related and obsessive-compulsive disorders is indicated. Summary: Psychotherapeutic and pharmacological treatments are effective in managing symptoms associated with anxiety, trauma-related, and obsessive-compulsive disorders; psychosocial interventions are often beneficial treatment adjuncts. Shared decision-making between providers and older patients is recommended for optimal management. A referral to a mental health specialist is indicated if older patients do not respond to first-line treatments or if the provider does not feel comfortable managing the patient’s symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Geriatrics Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Late-life anxiety disorders
  • Late-life obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • Late-life trauma disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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