Chapter

Personality disorders in the elderly

Suzanne Holroyd

in New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199696758
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191743221 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199696758.003.0203
Personality disorders in the elderly

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The study of personality disorder (PD) in late life presents conceptual, diagnostic, and methodological difficulties. By definition, PD is considered a group of personality traits that relatively persistent through adulthood. However, the concept of PD persisting throughout the lifespan contradicts widespread clinical belief that they become less severe with ageing. There are difficulties in studying PD in the elderly. One is the instability of the definition of PD over time, making it difficult to relate earlier studies to those using current definitions of PD. In addition, diagnostic criteria are subject to criticism when applied to the elderly, in that they may be ‘age-biased’. Finally, the methodology used to diagnose PD has been highly variable and difficult to interpret between studies. This chapter covers clinical features, diagnosis, epidemiology and aetiology, course and prognosis, and treatment and management.

Chapter.  3346 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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