Mental health services for rural elderly: Innovative service strategies

Zona Chalifoux, Jane B. Neese, Kathleen C. Buckwalter, Eugene Litwak, Ivo L. Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This paper reviews issues in planning and delivering mental health services to rural dwelling elderly. First, comparative data on the prevalence of mental illness among rural elderly, and the availability and accessibility of mental health services in rural areas are presented to provide a basis for subsequent discussion. Next, several strategies for improving the development and delivery of geriatric mental health services to rural areas are discussed. These include: increasing the number and quality of rural mental health providers; adapting or developing diagnostic techniques to improve case identification among rural elderly; providing culturally sensitive mental health services; strengthening informal and formal care linkages in rural communities; developing innovative service delivery models building upon the strengths of rural settings; and emphasizing fluidity as well as continuity in treatment models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-480
Number of pages18
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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