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ZonMw grant to study the (cost-)effectiveness of exposure therapy for older adults suffering from anxiety disorders

Date of news: 9 August 2023

Hendriks, Gert-Jan

One in 10 older people (> 65 years) have a reduced quality of life due to an anxiety disorder. These older adults receive treatment three times less often treatment compared to 18-65-year-olds with an anxiety disorder. Older people themselves prefer non-medicated treatment 'close to home' in general practice. Exposure therapy is highly effective non-medical treatment for patients with anxiety disorders. Gert-Jan Hendriks received a ZonMw grant of €648.934,- to study, the (cost-)effectiveness of exposure therapy for elderly people with anxiety disorders.The effect of exposure therapy is independent of culture, ethnicity and education. However, research on the effect of exposure therapy in older adults with anxiety disorder is scarce and application in general practice has never been investigated. This study investigates the (cost-) effectiveness of exposure therapy applied by primary care physicians in treating elderly people with anxiety disorders. Intended results are a greater reduction in anxiety and improved quality of life. Importance is reduced burden of illness, use of care and dependence on third parties. Together with BSI colleagues Eni Becker and Nessa Ikani, and the collaboration of Radboudumc Departments Primary Care & Community Health and Psychiatry, UMC Groningen Department of Psychiatry, Free University Amsterdam Faculty of Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment and the University of Applied Sciences InHolland Amsterdam we will start the research project at December 1st 2023 for the next five years