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Volunteer-led behavioural activation to reduce depression in residential care: A feasibility study

journal contribution
posted on 11.01.2021, 04:59 by C Bryant, Lydia Brown, M Polacsek, F Batchelor, H Capon, B Dow
© 2020 The Author(s). Objectives: Symptoms of depression are highly prevalent and under-treated in residential aged care facilities. Behavioural activation is a simple, cost-effective psychosocial intervention that might be appropriate to help reduce depression and improve well-being in this setting. The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility and efficacy of an 8-week, volunteer-led behavioural activation intervention designed for depressed aged care residents. Method: This feasibility study employed a single-arm design, where outcomes were measured at baseline, post-intervention and 3-month follow-up. Aged care residents with depressive symptoms were invited to participate, and healthy volunteers were trained to deliver the intervention. Intervention feasibility was assessed on six a priori-determined domains. Depression, anxiety and flourishing were included as outcomes using intention-to-treat analysis. Result: Seventeen aged care residents with depressive symptoms and 13 volunteers were successfully recruited within the expected 6-month timeframe. Both residents and volunteers were satisfied with the intervention (7/8), and there was a high (87%) completion rate. The intervention was associated with a large and statistically significant reduction in resident depressive symptoms, d = - 1.14, with the effect increasing to d = 2.82 when comparing baseline to 3-month follow-up. Anxiety reduced from mild symptoms at baseline mean = 6.17 (5.12) to the subclinical range post-intervention, mean = 3.53 (4.29) (g = 0.61, p = 0.03). Conclusion: This 8-week volunteer-led behavioural activation intervention was found to be feasible and acceptable to depressed aged care residents. The intervention was effective in ameliorating depression. A larger randomized controlled trial is warranted.

History

Publication Date

07/07/2020

Journal

Pilot and Feasibility Studies

Volume

6

Issue

1

Article Number

95

Pagination

10p. (p. 1-10)

Publisher

BMC

ISSN

2055-5784

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The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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