Tijdschrift voor gerontologie en geriatrie vol:37 issue:3 pages:89-95
PURPOSE: This study aimed to examine the 12-month and lifetime prevalence rates of pure and comorbid mental disorders (mood, anxiety and alcohol disorders) in Belgian home-dwelling elderly. METHODS: A representative random sample of 665 non-instutionalized older adults (60+) from Belgium was interviewed in 2000 and 2001. DSM-IV disorders were assessed by interviewers trained to use a revised version of the World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview (WMH-CIDI) of the World Health Organization. RESULTS: Twenty percent of the respondents reported a lifetime history of at least one mental disorder; 5% met criteria for a a mental disorder in the past twelve months. Mood and anxiety disorders were the most common mental disorders. Almost 5% of the respondents reported suicidal ideation in their lifetime, while 0.22% had suicidal ideation in the past twelve months preceding the interview. CONCLUSIONS: Mental disorders are not uncommon in the Belgian home-dwelling elderly. The results of this study imply that in 2000-2001 at least five percent of the older adults living in the community had at least one mental disorder. Two in thousand older adults reported suicidal ideations in the 12 months preceding the interview.