Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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8 points, SCA Band 3, 0.1666667 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Psychological Sciences
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Professor D Ames


The unit is a continuation of Adult Psychiatry

  1. The initial 4 sessions will be devoted to topics outlined in the curriculum for Adult Psychiatry
  2. The remaining 8 sessions will focus on psychiatry of old age. Session 1 will examine the interaction of ageing and mental health. Epidemiological and demographical aspects of ageing in Australia and worldwide will be discussed. Included are the social construction of ageing, individual experiences of ageing and death and dying. The remaining sessions will focus on common cognitive and functional disorders in the elderly, physical health, pharmacology and ageing and service provisions to the elderly with mental illness. The sessions on cognitive disorders will examine the types and classification of cognitive disorders including the dementias, the underlying pathophysiological basis of these disorders, epidemiology, assessment of patients and management-pharmacological and non-pharmacological. A similar approach will be adopted for the sessions on affective, anxiety and psychotic disorders in the elderly. The session on physical health, pharmacology and ageing will deal with the interface between old age psychiatry, geriatric medicine and primary care. Some of the commoner physical disorders that affect the elderly will be considered as well as their impact on psychological health and well-being i.e. stroke, fractured neck of femur. The last session on Services and Training in Old Age Psychiatry will address various service models in Victoria and other Australian states, as well as the private versus public health dichotomy. Issues needing considerations in the setting up of services in a developing country or a developed country with a newly ageing population will be discussed. Lastly, currently RANZCP guidelines for advanced training in old age psychiatry will be sent out.


On completion of this unit, students will be able:

  1. to describe the common psychiatric syndromes which affect older people, their presentation, differential diagnosis, assessment, basic management and outcomes;
  2. to demonstrate the skills to interview older persons effectively and to assess their mental state with particular reference to cognitive function;
  3. to demonstrate the skills necessary to manage the common psychiatric disorders affecting older persons with psychiatric disorders;
  4. to discuss the range of services available to assist older people with mental health problems in Australia and the way these services are likely to develop in the future;
  5. to describe the experience of ageing as lived in Australia together with the social, societal and personal implications of the ageing process; and
  6. to utilise appropriate referral to other specialists and services (both medical and social) for older people.


Case presentation (50%)
Essay (2,000 words) (50%)

Hurdle: 75% attendance.

Workload requirements

Attendance of approximately 3.5 hours per week at lectures/tutorials.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


MPM5006 (MPM1202).