The availability of psychological services for aged care residents in australia: a survey of facility staff

Stargatt, Jennifer and Bhar, Sunil S. and Davison, Tanya E. and Pachana, Nancy A. and Mitchell, Leander and Koder, Deborah and Hunter, Carol and Doyle, Colleen and Wells, Yvonne and Helmes, Edward (2016) The availability of psychological services for aged care residents in australia: a survey of facility staff. Australian Psychologist. ISSN 0005-0067

Abstract

Objective: Rates of depression and anxiety are high among older adults in residential aged care facilities (RACFs). This study examined the extent to which psychological services are made available to facility residents in Australia, and investigated barriers to accessing such services. Method: The sample consisted of 90 senior staff from a random sample of RACFs. Participants completed self-report questionnaires regarding their perspectives on the availability of psychological services and potential barriers to access psychological services. Results: Access to psychological services was poor. Psychologists were employed at a rate only one third that of other providers of mental health services. Residents were rarely referred to psychologists or to psychological treatments. The most important barriers to access, as perceived by participants, were the low availability of psychologists specialising in treating older adults, lack of government funding for such access, and limited staff training in detecting depression and anxiety. Conclusion: Access to psychologists and psychological services remains poor in Australian residential aged care settings. Such access may be improved by developing a workforce of clinical geropsychologists, improving funding mechanisms for residents to access psychological services, and addressing staff knowledge about depression and anxiety.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2017 02:00
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2017 04:44
Uncontrolled Keywords: aged care; geropsychology; mental health; older adults; psychological treatment; residential care
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111702 Aged Health Care
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/ap.12244
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/31190

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