Abstract| Volume 25, ISSUE 3, SUPPLEMENT , S109-S111, March 2017

The Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy among Older Adults Compared with Younger Adults in Community Mental Health

      Introduction: Although Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been successfully established to treat depression in both geriatric and younger adult populations, research that directly compared CBT effectiveness in older versus younger patients were somewhat limited to specific clinical populations and had varying methods, measures and, most importantly, conclusions. For example, one study found similar CBT effects on depression but larger Quality of Life (QoL) improvement in younger versus older veterans aged 65 + . While superior CBT effects were seen in older adults aged 54 + in a meta-analysis on psychotherapy and an agoraphobia study, another meta-analysis showed stronger effects in younger patients with GAD. In light of these rather conflicting findings, we aim to determine if CBT favors one age group over another in patients with mixed anxiety and depression. As seniors growth projection reaches 20% of U.S. population by 2030, appraisal of CBT effectiveness in older versus younger individuals could potentially influence public mental health direction in addressing these emerging needs. Furthermore, given CBT benefits of minimal adverse effects and high versatility (i.e., could be administered by various providers versus only by physicians), CBT could especially be useful in public mental health settings that emphasize provider diversity. As part of a larger ongoing study, this study aims to compare the rates of depression and anxiety as well as CBT effects on anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation (SI), and QoL across age groups in a public mental health outpatient setting.
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