ABSTRACT: Geropsychotherapy researchers have established specific methods that improve the reliability and generalizability of the data from this research. To date, there has been little formal dissemination of these methods. The authors present guidelines for the optimal conduct of psychotherapy research in older adults, which include selection of age-appropriate psychotherapies and control conditions, use of consumer-based methods for recruitment, evaluation of age-related treatment processes and outcomes, and adjusting the research design to accommodate age-specific life events and provide examples of how each guideline was used in their psychotherapy studies. Psychotherapy research with older adults has benefited from methodological advances that improve our ability to ascertain the impact of psychotherapy on late-life disorders. However, the field is still in need of better outcome and process measures, methods for measuring the therapeutic content of non-psychotherapy encounters, and methods for determining the impact of choice of treatment on outcome.
American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 11(1):9-16. · 3.64 Impact Factor