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Latino Older Adults and Mental Health: A Review and Commentary

TitleLatino Older Adults and Mental Health: A Review and Commentary
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsAlvarez, P, Rengifo, J, Emrani, T, Gallagher-Thompson, D
JournalClinical GerontologistClinical Gerontologist
Date Published2014 Jan-Feb
ISBN Number0731-7115
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and Over, Cardiovascular Diseases, Caregiver Burden, Caregiver Support, Caregivers, Combined Modality Therapy, Comorbidity, Coping, Cultural Values, Dementia -- Diagnosis, Dementia -- Epidemiology -- United States, Dementia -- Ethnology -- In Old Age, Dementia -- Therapy, Depression -- Diagnosis, Depression -- Epidemiology -- United States, Depression -- Ethnology -- In Old Age, Depression -- Therapy, Family, Female, Geriatric Assessment, Geriatric Psychiatry, Hardiness, Health Care Delivery -- In Old Age, Health Policy, Health Resource Utilization, Health Services Accessibility, Healthcare Disparities, Hispanics -- In Old Age, Immigrants, Male, Mental Health Services -- In Old Age, Professional Practice, Evidence-Based, Psychiatric Care -- In Old Age, Psychiatric Patients -- In Old Age, Psychoeducation, Psychological Tests, Psychotherapy, Racism, Self Care, Transcultural Care, United States
AbstractLatinos are the largest and fastest growing minority population in the United States, and within that, the proportion of elderly Latinos is also increasing at a very rapid rate. This is due to an increase in longevity and improved health care. Depression and other mental health disorders are common in this group, yet few services exist at present that are culturally appropriate and that have been found, in randomized trials, to be effective with them. Part of the reason for this lag in research and development of clinical services is due to the multiple barriers to seeking and receiving mental health services that exist in Latino communities. This article reviews these barriers as well as existing programs that address them and therefore hold promise as mental health interventions. Although there is an increasing amount of research on older adults in this country, Latino older adults still remain underrepresented in research and underserved clinically. This article also highlights the need to increase appropriate normative data for valid testing, and emphasizes a call for more culturally competent and bilingual clinicians.