OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this paper is to present initial findings from
a retrospective chart review of geriatric day treatment patients in order
to focus attention on this potentially important area, add to the limited
database in this area, and generate hypotheses for future investigations.
METHOD: Data were abstracted from the charts of 100 geriatric day treatment
patients over a period of approximately 5 years (1985-1989). Descriptive,
univariate, and multiple regression techniques were used to describe the
patients and identify variables associated with their outcomes. RESULTS:
The typical patient in this program was a widowed white woman in her 70s
who suffered from a depressive disorder. During the initial treatment
period (usually approximately 3 months), 57% of the patients experienced
some clinical improvement. Variables associated with a favorable outcome
included diagnosis of a mood disorder rather than a psychotic disorder,
better initial functional status, greater initial social support, fewer
stressful events during treatment, and longer duration of treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Geriatric day treatment can be effective and merits further
study as a mode of treatment for psychiatrically ill elderly patients.