A Community-Based Intervention for Treating Depression in Seniors

Manal Guirguis-Younger, Philippe Cappeliez, Alastair Younger


This study piloted and refined a community-based behavioural intervention for depressed seniors. The intervention, based on Lewinsohn's 'Control Your Depression', was administered in bibliotherapy format adapted for seniors. It was delivered in a minimal-contact format by home care nurses. The intervention was tested and refined in a series of 3 multiple-baseline studies, each with 2 participants. Each series consisted of baseline, 6 weekly treatment sessions, and 3-month follow-up. Series A tested the feasibility of the intervention. Series B examined the role of pleasant activities as a pivotal part of the treatment. Series C replicated the findings of series B and tested the final version of the intervention. In all the series, there was a reduction in depression that remained at 3-month follow-up. The results indicate that this form of intervention can be supported by home care nurses working with an underserved population that is prone to depression.

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