ABSTRACT: To present findings from an expert panel-informed literature review on community-based treatment of late-life depression.
A systematic literature review was conducted to appraise publications on community-based interventions for depression in older adults. The search was conducted between March and October 2005. An expert panel of mental health, aging, health services, and epidemiology researchers guided the review and voted on quality and effectiveness of these interventions.
A total of 3,543 articles were found with publication dates from 1967 to October 2005; of these, 116 were eligible for inclusion. Adequate data existed to determine effectiveness for the following interventions: depression care management, group and individual psychotherapy for depression, psychotherapy targeting mental health, psychotherapy for caregivers, education and skills training (to manage health problems besides depression; and for caregivers), geriatric health evaluation and management, exercise, and physical rehabilitation and occupational therapy. After reviewing the data, panelists rated the depression care management interventions as effective. Education and skills training, geriatric health evaluation and management, and physical rehabilitation and occupational therapy received ineffective ratings. Other interventions received mixed effectiveness ratings. Insufficient data availability and poor study quality prevented the panelists from rating several reviewed interventions.
While several well-described interventions were found to treat depression effectively in community-dwelling older adults, significant gaps still exist. Interventions that did not target depression specifically may be of benefit to older adults, but they should not be presumed to treat depression by themselves. Treating depressed elders may require a multifaceted approach to ensure effectiveness. More research in this area is needed.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine 10/2007; 33(3):222-49. · 4.04 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To present recommendations for community-based treatment of late-life depression to public health and aging networks.
An expert panel of mental health and public health researchers and community-based practitioners in aging was convened in April 2006 to form consensus-based recommendations. When making recommendations, panelists considered feasibility and appropriateness for community-based delivery, as well as strength of evidence on program effectiveness from a systematic literature review of articles published through 2005.
The expert panel strongly recommended depression care management-modeled interventions delivered at home or at primary care clinics. The panel recommended individual cognitive behavioral therapy. Interventions not recommended as primary treatments for late-life depression included education and skills training, comprehensive geriatric health evaluation programs, exercise, and physical rehabilitation/occupational therapy. There was insufficient evidence for making recommendations for several intervention categories, including group psychotherapy and psychotherapies other than cognitive behavioral therapy.
This interdisciplinary expert panel determined that recommended interventions should be disseminated throughout the public health and aging networks, while acknowledging the challenges and obstacles involved. Interventions that were not recommended or had insufficient evidence often did not treat depression primarily and/or did not include a clinically depressed sample while attempting to establish efficacy. These interventions may provide other benefits, but should not be presumed to effectively treat depression by themselves. Panelists also identified primary prevention of depression as a much under-studied area. These findings should aid individual clinicians as well as public health decision makers in the delivery of population-based mental health services in diverse community settings.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine 10/2007; 33(3):175-81. · 4.04 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The Prevention Research Centers Healthy Aging Research Network (PRC-HAN), funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Healthy Aging program, was created in 2001 to help develop partnerships and create a research agenda that promotes healthy aging. The nine universities that participate in the network use their expertise in aging research to collaborate with their communities and other partners to develop and implement health promotion interventions for older adults at the individual, organizational, environmental, and policy levels.
The population of older adults in the United States is growing rapidly; approximately 20% of Americans will be aged 65 years or older by 2030. The health and economic impact of an aging society compel the CDC and the public health community to place increased emphasis on preventing unnecessary disease, disability, and injury among older Americans.
The PRC-HAN has a broad research agenda that addresses health-promoting skills and behaviors, disease and syndrome topics, and knowledge domains. The network chose physical activity for older adults as its initial focus for research and has initiated two networkwide projects: a comprehensive, multisite survey that collected information on the capacity, content, and accessibility of physical activity programs for older adults and a peer-reviewed publication that describes the role of public health in promoting physical activity among older adults. In addition to participating in the core research area, each network member works independently with its community committee on PRC-HAN activities.
As a result, the network is 1) expanding prevention research for older adults and their communities; 2) promoting the translation and dissemination of findings to key stakeholders; 3) strengthening PRC-HAN capacity through partnerships and expanded funding; and 4) stimulating the adoption of policies and programs by engaging policymakers, planners, and practitioners. In 2003, the PRC-HAN initiated an internal evaluation to better define the network's contributions to healthy aging, formalize internal processes, and better equip itself to serve as a model for other PRC thematic networks. The PRC-HAN is conducting a pilot evaluation for eventual inclusion in the PRC national evaluation.
The PRC-HAN has established itself as an effective research network to promote healthy aging. It has developed trust and mutual respect among participants, forged strong ties to local communities, and shown the ability to combine its expertise in healthy aging with that of partners in national, state, and local organizations.
Preventing chronic disease 02/2006; 3(1):A17. · 1.82 Impact Factor