Age factors in patient-therapist relationship

Toksoz B. Karasu, Stefan P. Stein, Edward S. Charles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper reports on the effects of therapist and patient age as factors in the evaluation and treatment of adult psychiatric outpatients. Therapist ratings and patient self-ratings are contrasted in three age groups. Rating scales include symptomatology, motivation, insight, and prognosis. In addition, a chart review follow-up of 68 patients includes disposition and drop-out. The data suggest that older patients are perceived as sicker, but less treatable than younger patients or patients of the same age group as the therapist. Residents express a strong preference for treating younger patients, but more readily develop a treatment relationship with same age patients. Both older and younger patients were significantly less likely to remain in treatment. Age of therapist and patient as a significant, frequent unrecognized factor in psychotherapeutic intervention is discussed and modifications in psychiatric training programs are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-104
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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