A new home-based mental health program for older adults: Description of the first 100 cases

Deirdre Johnston, Melissa Smith, Karen Beard-Byrd, Aaron Albert, Claudine Legault, William Vaughn McCall, Amy Singleton, Gretchen Brenes, Patricia Hogan, Burton Reifler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The Geriatric Psychiatry Outreach (GO) Program began in 2005 and provides in-home psychiatric evaluation and treatment for older adults who have difficulty getting to an office-based setting. METHOD:: An initial assessment was conducted on the first 100 patients seen by the program and follow-up treatment was provided as clinically indicated. Results: The mean age of patients seen was 79.7 (SD: 8.2), 74% were women, and the most common psychiatric diagnoses were depression (50%) and dementia (45%), with a mean of 1.4 (SD: 0.6) psychiatric diagnoses per patient. The patients had a mean of 4.8 (SD: 2.9) medical diagnoses and were on a mean of 6.8 (SD: 4.0) prescription and 2.2 (SD: 1.2) nonprescription medications. Patients received a mean of 4.2 (SD: 4.2) in-person visits and a mean of 30.2 (SD: 36.5) additional contacts related to their care, such as phone calls, e-mails, and faxes. Conclusions: Providing psychiatric services at home for older adults with mental illness is a much needed but rarely available service. Such patients typically have a complex combination of medical and psychiatric diagnoses and benefit from contacts in addition to the face-to-face visits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1141-1145
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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