Telephone-Based Behavioral Activation with Mental Imagery for Depression in Older Adults in Isolation During the covid-19 Pandemic: Long-term Results from a Pilot Trial

Johnny Pellas, Fritz Renner, Julie L Ji, Mattias Damberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for psychological interventions for depression that can be delivered remotely to older adults. Pellas et al. (2022) conducted a pilot trial on the preliminary effectiveness of a four-week telephone-delivered Behavioral Activation with Mental Imagery (BA-MI) intervention to N= 38 adults 65 years and older with clinically significant depressive symptoms living in isolation due to covid-19 in Sweden. This study assessed the feasibility of follow-up assessments and within-group symptom change over a six-month post-intervention period. METHODS: Retention rates at post-intervention and follow-up assessments of depressive symptoms (MADRS-S) at five time points were assessed (baseline, post-intervention, 1-, 3-, and 6-month follow-up). Effect sizes (Hedges' g) for within-group change scores were calculated between each time point. RESULTS: Retention rates over time were 95, 82, 89, and 84%. Mean MADRS-S score was 18.26 at baseline, 13.69 at post-intervention ( g= .68), 13.42 at 1 month ( g= .74), 13.82 at 3 months ( g= .74), and 15.59 at 6 months ( g= .41). CONCLUSIONS: Long-term follow-ups were feasible. Within-group decreases in depressive symptoms were maintained with medium effect sizes at 6 months post-intervention. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Telephone-based BA-MI may be a feasible intervention for depressive symptoms in older adults in isolation with maintained effects over time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Gerontologist
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Sep 2022

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