Long-term relapse rates after cognitive behaviour therapy for anxiety and depressive disorders among older adults: a follow-up study during COVID-19

Carly Johnco*, Jessamine T.-H. Chen, Courtney Muir, Paul Strutt, Piers Dawes, Joyce Siette, Cintia Botelho Dias, Heidi Hillebrandt, Olivia Maurice, Viviana Wuthrich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Method
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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Early online date9 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • COVID-19
  • depression
  • frail older adults
  • geriatrics
  • treatment

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