Research Article| Volume 26, ISSUE 2, P250-256, February 2018

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¡HOLA, Amigos! Toward Preventing Anxiety and Depression in Older Latinos

      Given the prevalence and morbidity of depression and anxiety in later life, the inadequacies of current treatment approaches for averting years living with disability, the disparities in access to the mental healthcare delivery system, and the workforce shortages to meet the mental health needs of older Latinos, development and testing of innovative strategies to prevent depression and anxiety are of great public health significance and have the potential to change practice. Although impediments to good depression and anxiety outcomes exist for all older adults, they are even more pronounced for older Latinos, who tend to have fewer socioeconomic resources. These factors underscore the need for prevention-based interventions that are effective, scalable, relevant, respectful, and specific to this population. The Happy Older Latinos are Active (HOLA) program is a community health worker–led, multicomponent, health promotion intervention. The diverse needs and circumstances of older Latinos (highly sedentary, culture-specific health beliefs, service disparities) were incorporated into the design of HOLA to reduce risk factors and improve health-related outcomes associated with common mental disorders in this group. The authors describe HOLA (highlighted in this case example) and why health promotion interventions like HOLA may hold promise as effective, practical, and nonstigmatizing interventions for preventing common mental disorders in older Latinos who are at risk for developing these disorders.

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