Mixed anxiety and depression in older adults: Clinical characteristics and management

Erin L. Cassidy, Sean Lauderdale, Javaid I. Sheikh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

16 Citations (Scopus)


The frequent comorbidity of anxiety and depression, particularly among elderly, is widely recognized by clinicians, but the debate continues as to whether the combined diagnostic designation is merited. This article reviews the debate over the mixed diagnosis, discusses treatment implications, and reviews a small treatment study undertaken with elderly patients. Ten community-dwelling, older adults diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and subsyndromal depression (n = 6) or generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder (n = 4) were started on a 12-week, open-label trial of nefazodone. Clinicians' ratings on the Clinical Global Impression of Change and patients' self-ratings of symptoms on the Beck Depression Inventory and the Beck Anxiety Inventory identified statistically significant gains in patients' overall pre/post functioning. Nefazodone was efficacious in symptom alleviation in patients with comorbid anxiety and depression. Further double-blind, randomized investigations with newer antidepressant medications are required to extend these preliminary findings with nefazodone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-88
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2005



  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Geriatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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