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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Under diagnosis of alcohol misuse in the older adult population
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 16, Iss. 20, 08 Nov 2007, pp 1254 - 1258

Alcohol abuse in older adults is common, yet it is often under detected and misdiagnosed, and as a result associated with considerable morbidity. There is growing concern that as the population ages, there will be a substantial increase in the number of older adults needing treatment for alcohol misuse and currently, little is done to identify and address this situation.

Factors contributing to under diagnosis include, but are not limited to, depression, dementia, physical changes associated with age, life events, late onset of alcoholism and lack of screening.

A case report is presented and existing research findings are discussed. The importance of assessment, the use of screening tools, treatment issues and identification of other comorbidities are presented.

The focus on increased awareness among clinicians as well as their role in identifying and addressing alcohol abuse issues in the older adult population is explored.

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