Improving Mental Health and Social Participation Outcomes in Older Adults with Depression and Anxiety

Project: Other

Project Details


NHMRC and Beyond Blue cofunded project grant. Psychological interventions for older adults with depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation need to be improved to maximise mental health, wellbeing and social participation outcomes. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the gold standard intervention for older adults with depression and anxiety, however many older adults remain significantly distressed at the end of treatment. We have developed a trasdiagnostic CBT intervention for older adults suffering anxiety and depression, which has demonstrated solid outcomes in two randomised controlled trials. In order to further enhance this program, we have recently incorporated a direct focus on maximising social participation. Pilot research has indicated that this enhanced program is associated with improved social participation, wellbeing, and mental health outcomes. In addition to its better treatment outcomes, this program may also lead to better costeffectiveness by reducing health costs and utilising the social capital associated with increased social participation by older adults (e.g. paid employment, volunteering, child minding, community participation). Our current application aims to evaluate the efficacy and cost-efficacy of this new enhanced CBT plus social participation program compared to our standard transdiagnostic CBT program. The results of this study will lead to a powerful, evidence-based program that can be disseminated into public and private health. A program that can treat emotional distress and increase social participation among older adults can greatly reduce the impact of anxiety and depression and reduce their economic burden.
Effective start/end date1/01/1831/12/23