Randomised controlled trial of group cognitive behavioural therapy for comorbid anxiety and depression in older adults

Viviana M. Wuthrich*, Ronald M. Rapee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)
91 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Anxiety and depression are commonly comorbid in older adults and are associated with worse physical and mental health outcomes and poorer response to psychological and pharmacological treatments. However, little research has examined the effectiveness of psychological programs to treat comorbid anxiety and depression in older adults. Sixty-two community dwelling adults aged over 60 years with comorbid anxiety and depression were randomly allocated to group cognitive behavioural therapy or a waitlist condition and were assessed immediately following and three months after treatment. After controlling for cognitive ability at pre-treatment, cognitive behaviour therapy resulted in significantly greater reductions, than waitlist, on symptoms of anxiety and depression based on a semi-structured diagnostic interview rated by clinicians unaware of treatment condition. Significant time by treatment interactions were also found for self-report measures of anxiety and depression and these gains were maintained at the three month follow up period. In contrast no significant differences were found between groups on measures of worry and well-being. In conclusion, group cognitive behavioural therapy is efficacious in reducing comorbid anxiety and depression in geriatric populations and gains maintain for at least three months.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-786
Number of pages8
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Volume51
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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