Ανάρτηση Δημοσιευμένου Άρθρου
Background. Healthcare services are increasingly confronted with challenges related to old age
mental disorders. The survey aimed to provide an overview of existing psychogeriatric services in
Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, and North Macedonia.
Methods. After identification of psychogeriatric units across the four countries, their head
physicians were asked to provide data on their clinical, teaching, and research activity, as well as
staff composition. Moreover, the attitudes of head physicians to current needs and future service
development were explored.
Results. A total of 15 psychogeriatric units were identified (3 in Bulgaria, 8 in Greece, and 4 in
North Macedonia). Results show wide variation regarding the location, team size and composition, service availability, numbers of patients attending, and inpatient treatment length. Most
head physicians underscored the urgent need for breakthroughs in the graduate and postgraduate education in psychogeriatrics of medical and nonmedical professionals, as well as in the
interconnection of their units with community primary healthcare services and long-term care
facilities for seniors via telemedicine. They would welcome the development of national
standards for psychogeriatric units, potentially embodying clear pointers for action. A number
of head physicians advocated the development of nationwide old age mental health registries.
Conclusions. Regional disparities in resources and services for seniors’ mental health services
were unveiled. These data may enrich the dialogue on optimizing psychogeriatric services
through planning future cross-border collaborations mainly based on telemedicine services,
especially in the era of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and training/education in psychogeriatrics of mental health professionals.