Psychosocial interventions for the promotion of mental health and the prevention of depression among older adults

Anna Forsman, Johanna Nordmyr, Kristian Wahlbeck

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

    143 Citations (Scopus)


    The aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for the promotion of mental health and prevention of depression among older people. A systematic review of prospective controlled trials was conducted including 69 studies. The studies were divided into physical exercise, skill training, reminiscence, social activities, group support and multicomponent interventions. Data from 44 trials contributed to a meta-analysis of effectiveness. Overall, psychosocial interventions had a positive effect on quality of life and positive mental health. The pooled interventions also had a statistically significant effect on reduction in depressive symptoms. Social activities significantly improved positive mental health, life satisfaction and quality of life and reduced depressive symptoms. Based on the results of this study, duration of interventions is of importance, since interventions lasting for >3 months exhibited more positive effects compared with shorter interventions. Meaningful social activities, tailored to the older individual's abilities and preferences should be considered in aiming to improve mental health among older people.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)i85–i107
    JournalHealth Promotion International
    Issue numberSuppl 1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

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