Bains, M. K., Scott, S., Kellett, S., & Saxon, D. (2014). Group psychoeducative cognitive-behaviour therapy for mixed anxiety and depression with older adults. Aging & Mental Health, 18, 8, 1057-1065.
Objectives: There is a dearth of older adult evidence regarding the group treatment for co-morbid anxiety and depression. This research evaluated the effectiveness of a low-intensity group psychoeducational approach. Method: Patients attended six sessions of a manualized cognitive-behavioral group. Validated measures of anxiety, depression and psychological well-being were taken at assessment, termination and six-week follow-up from patients, who also rated the alliance and their anxiety/depression at each group session. Staff rated patients regarding their functioning at assessment, termination and six-week follow-up. Outcomes were categorized according to whether patients had recovered, improved, deteriorated or been harmed. Effect sizes were compared to extant group interventions for anxiety and depression. Results: Eight groups were completed with 34 patients, with a drop-out rate of 17%. Staff and patient rated outcome measures showed significant improvements (with small effect sizes) in assessment to termination and assessment to follow-up comparisons. Over one quarter (26.47%) of patients met the recovery criteria at follow-up and no patients were harmed. Outcomes for anxiety were better than for depression with the alliance in groups stable over time. Conclusion: The intervention evaluated shows clinical and organizational promise. The group approach needs to be further developed and tested in research with greater methodological control.