Interactions between anxiety, social support, health status and buspirone efficacy in elderly patients

Eszter Majercsik, J. Haller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Psychosocial factors are among the etiological factors of anxiety, and have been shown to affect the anxiolytic efficacy of buspirone in laboratory rodents. Disparate human studies suggest that a similar interaction may be valid for anxious patients. However, this interaction is poorly known at present. It was hypothesized that social support and health status are especially relevant psychosocial problems in elderly, and as such, have a large impact on both anxiety and the efficacy of anxiolytic treatment with buspirone. The hypothesis was assessed by three independent studies performed in a total number of 384 elderly in-patients (109 males, 275 females, age ∼80 years). A low number of social contacts associated with a large number of diseases proved to be a strong risk factor for anxiety, whereas the reverse condition (many contacts/few diseases) was associated with considerably lower Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A) scores. Buspirone ameliorated anxiety significantly in general, but the "many contacts/many diseases" condition was associated with twice as much improvement as the "few contacts/few diseases" condition. The patient's self-evaluation of health status was predicted strongly by the disease score used in the above two studies. Taken conjointly, data suggest that the major Axis-IV problems faced by the age class studied (social support and health status) have a strong effect on both anxiety and buspirone responsiveness in elderly patients. Thus, drug responses appear to be modulated by nonpharmacological factors, and research directed towards identifying such factors would provide information important to a more appropriate patient targeting of certain medications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1161-1169
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Volume28
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004

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Buspirone
Social Support
Health Status
Anxiety
Anti-Anxiety Agents
Diagnostic Self Evaluation
Rodentia
Psychology
Research
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Buspirone
  • Clinical trial
  • Elderly
  • Health status
  • Social support
  • Treatment efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology

Cite this

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