J Korean Med Assoc.  2010 Nov;53(11):984-992.

Psychosocial treatment of psychiatric disorders of the elderly

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Konkuk University Medical Center, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. shryu@kku.ac.kr


Interest in psychosocial treatment as non-pharmacologic treatment in the elderly has been increasing, and this treatment has became an important therapeutic approach for the following common psychiatric disorders: depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, some psychological conditions, and some cognitive disorders. Some examples of the psychosocial treatments frequently used with older people with psychiatric disorders are cognitive behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, individual psychotherapy, reality orientation, validation therapy, reminiscence therapy, and cognitive training. Those treatment options should be used carefully in light of individual needs and optimal objectives for the elderly and their caregivers. It is crucial for the clinician to understand the characteristics and clinical applications of each psychosocial treatment for the elderly in particular. Further studies are needed to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of old and new psychosocial treatment modalities for older people with psychiatric disorders. Psychosocial treatments are very important with or without pharmacological treatment in the elderly with psychiatric problems. Clinician should become familiar with various psychosocial treatments.


Non-pharmacologic treatment; Psychosocial treatment; Aged; Psychiatric disorders
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