Detecting personality disorders in older adults in general practice: The evaluation and validation of the Gerontological Personality Disorders Scale

Krystle Alena Priscilla Penders

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

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This project was aimed at recognising personality disorders in the elderly in general practice. Although in the general population one in eight people over the age of 60 is estimated to have a personality disorder, this debilitating problem is often not recognised as such. These elderly people pose a challenge for healthcare professionals, including general practitioners who, given their pivotal role in the healthcare system, come into frequent contact with them. In addition to the fact that older people with personality pathology have an increased rate of care, there is regularly direct and indirect treatment rejection, non-compliance, less effective interventions (also for other disorders) and a troubled doctor-patient relationship. Research shows there are effective and feasible treatment options for this group.
The recognition of personality disorders in the elderly is complex. In addition to factors such as agism, atypical forms of expression and a highly complex clinical picture due to comorbid psychic and somatic disorders, the lack of suitable diagnostic instruments also plays an important role.
Therefore, in this study the Gerontological Personality Disorders Scale (GPS), a short and age-specific tool consisting of a self-reporting and informant version, was evaluated within general practice. Aspects such as reliability and validity as well as practicality and acceptance were examined. The research was conducted using various methods, including a literature review, cross-sectional studies and a mixed-methods study.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Metsemakers, Job, Supervisor
  • van Alphen, Sebastiaan P. J., Supervisor, External person
  • Peeters, Inge, Co-Supervisor
Award date24 Jun 2021
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464162776
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Personality disorders
  • elderly
  • general practice
  • Gerontological Personality Disorders Scale (GPS)
  • validation
  • informants

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