This study will implement a treatment for depression in a nursing home setting.
Depression in long-term care facilities is a significant public health issue. Up to 50% of
nursing home residents are affected by significant depressive symptoms. The decreased health
and limited cognitive ability of many nursing home residents makes treatment and research
extremely challenging. This study will attempt to identify and implement treatments for
depressed nursing home residents.
Participants are randomly assigned to receive either an active intervention or treatment as
usual for 6 weeks. The active intervention is followed by 4 weeks of maintenance. The
intervention is implemented primarily by existing nursing facility staff and focuses on
increasing opportunities for residents to experience pleasant events through increased
levels of activity and positive affect. The maintenance treatment involves incorporation of
protocol-based activities into patient care plans. Patients have a follow-up visit 12 weeks
after the study. Psychiatric evaluations, depression and mood rating scales, observed affect
and activity participation, behavior problems, and staff burden are assessed.
- Nursing home residents
- DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder or dysthymia or Research Diagnostic
Criteria for minor depressive disorder with current Geriatric Depression Scale scores
> 11 and Mini Mental State scores >= 14