Objective: This study assessed the long-term symptom relapse rates among older adults previously treated with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for anxiety and/or depression during COVID-19. Methods: Participants were 37 older adults (M = 75 years, SD = 5; 65% female) previously treated with CBT for anxiety and/or unipolar depression who were re-assessed an average of 5.6 years later, during the first Australian COVID-19 lockdown. Results: On average, there was no significant group-level change in anxiety, depression or quality of life. When assessing change in symptoms based on clinical cut-off points on self-report measures, results suggest only 17%-22% showed a relapse of symptoms by the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusions: Findings suggest that CBT may be protective in coping with life stressors many years after treatment ends. However, results warrant replication to attribute continued symptom improvement to CBT given the lack of control group.
- cognitive behavioral therapy
- frail older adults