Comparative Effectiveness of Social Problem-Solving Therapy and Reminiscence Therapy as Treatments for Depression in Older Adults

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Abstract

Compared the effects of 2 psychotherapies based on divergent conceptualizations of depression in later life. Seventy-five older adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder were assigned randomly to problem-solving therapy (PST), reminiscence therapy (RT), or a waiting-list control (WLC) condition. Participants in PST and RT were provided with 12 weekly sessions of group treatment. Dependent measures, taken at baseline, posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up, included self-report and observer-based assessments of depressive symptomatology. At posttreatment, both the PST and the RT conditions produced significant reductions in depressive symptoms, compared with the WLC group, and PST participants experienced significantly less depression than RT subjects. Moreover, a significantly greater proportion of participants in PST versus RT demonstrated sufficient positive change to warrant classification of their depression as improved or in remission at the posttreatment and follow-up evaluations.

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