A feasibility study of group-based cognitive behaviour therapy for older adults in residential care

Katrina Anderson*, Tushara Wickramariyaratne, Annaliese Blair

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: This study examined the feasibility of providing older adults living in residential aged care with group-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for depression and anxiety. Method: Eighteen participants with subclinical to mild anxiety and/or depression were divided equally into a treatment group and a control group, with treatment consisting of a manualised CBT program for older adults with depression and anxiety. The residents who participated in the group program provided an accurate representation of “real-world” residential aged care facilities (RACF) populations; many with comorbid physical problems, mild cognitive impairment and functional decline, and a mean age of almost 80 years. Results: The residents showed that not only could they successfully engage in psychotherapy, they were able to experience the benefits such as building their skills and resilience, receiving validation and emotional support from their fellow residents and fostering friendships and social networks. Encouragingly, the treatment group also showed fewer depressive symptoms post-treatment. Conclusions: Group-based psychotherapy should continue to be explored as a strategy to promote good mental health in RACFs, with further studies focusing on the feasibility of recruiting and treating clinical populations in this setting.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)192-202
    Number of pages11
    JournalClinical Psychologist
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


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