Psychosocial interventions for the prevention of depression in older adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Anna Forsman, Isabell Schierenbeck, Kristian Wahlbeck

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview Article or Literature Reviewpeer-review

    78 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE:

    To assess the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for the prevention of depression in older people.

    METHOD:

    Systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective controlled trials.

    RESULTS:

    Thirty studies were included. Overall, psychosocial interventions had a small but statistically significant effect on depressive symptoms (17 trials, standardized mean difference = -0.17, 95% CI = -0.31 to -0.03). In comparison with no-intervention controls, social activities were effective in reducing depressive symptoms, but results should be interpreted with caution due to the small number of trials. No statistically significant effect on depressive symptoms was found for physical exercise, skill training, reminiscence, or for multicomponent interventions.

    DISCUSSION:

    Psychosocial interventions have a small but statistically significant effect in reducing depressive symptoms among older adults. The current evidence base for psychosocial interventions for primary prevention of depression in older people is weak, and further trials warranted especially for the most promising type of interventions evaluated, that is, social activities.

    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)387–416
    JournalJournal of Aging and Health
    Volume23
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

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