The results of a randomized clinical trial published in JAMA indicate that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) can be effective for older adults with symptoms of worry and depression.
The 3-month CBT protocol was conducted in primary care clinics and included education, cognitive therapy, and problem-solving skills. Measures included the Beck Anxiety Inventory and Beck Depression Inventory II. Post-treatment assessments were conducted every three months over fifteen months.
Compared with the control group, patients who received treatment showed improvement in worry severity, depressive symptoms, and general mental health. A measure of GAD severity, however, did not indicate greater improvement with CBT.
The authors concluded that CBT is useful for this population especially in primary care settings, “where older adults most often seek treatment.”
Study authors: M. A. Stanley, N. L. Wilson, D. M. Novy, H. M. Rhoades, et al.