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Psychotherapy for depression in older adults with a disability: where do we go from here?

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Abstract Depression is a frequent concomitant of disability in late life. This paper reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on the psychotherapeutic treatment of depression in older adults with a disability. Different models of psychotherapy, including cognitive and behavioral approaches, appear relevant for treating this population. Empirical evidence suggests that psychotherapy is useful for reducing depressive symptoms in the disabled elderly but its effectiveness in treating depression is unclear. Methodological and conceptual explanations of this situation are provided. More well-designed outcome studies are needed to determine the efficacy and long-term benefits of psychotherapy for depressed older persons with a disability. Evidence also suggests that treated patients demonstrate improved functioning in their activities as a consequence of a reduction in excess disability.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 1997

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