More women with disabilities (30%) report "feelings such as sadness, unhappiness, or
depression that prevent them from being active" compared to women without disabilities (8%).
The contexts of the lives of WPD, which often include high rates of poverty, architectural
and attitudinal barriers, and higher vulnerability to violence and abuse, contribute to this
mental health disparity. To help address this disparity, the overall goals of this pilot
study are to: 1)1. Develop a cognitive behavioral group therapy intervention to address the
specific needs of WPD who experience depressive symptoms; and 2. Pilot-test the intervention
to preliminarily evaluate its efficacy using a mixed-methods approach. The proposed and
revised study outcomes were derived from our previous work with WPD as well as from feedback
obtained from community meetings conducted since our last submission of this proposal. A
pilot of the modified intervention with a total of 90 participants will be conducted using a
using a wait list control design. The decision to use a wait list control design was made
jointly with our community partners to ensure that all WPD participating in the study have
access to the intervention.
The project will use a longitudinal mixed method research design. Phase I will utilize focus
groups conducted with WPD to support development of the group therapy program. Phase II will
evaluate the efficacy of the intervention using a randomized design. Measures to protect
human subjects include development of detailed safety and referral protocols including 24
hour access to emergency mental health assessment and intervention as needed.
- Women with physical disabilities age 18 and older who require some form of
accommodation and experience significant depressive symptoms as defined by a cut off
score of 16 or greater on the CES-D.
- Women currently receiving other psychotherapy treatment
- Women who are psychotic or have significant cognitive impairment
- Women who are actively suicidal with intent and plan
- Women who have discontinued or initiated antidepressant medications within an 4 week