Collaborative care: Rays of hope for older adults with mild depression

Collaborative care: Rays of hope for older adults with mild depression

Nearly 14 percent older people meet the criteria for depression, the second leading cause of disability across the globe. While clinical depression is a mood disorder that can affect a person’s day-to-day activities, subthreshold depression is a condition in which an individual has depressive symptoms but does not meet the criteria for depressive disorder. Though not as serious as a depressive disorder, subthreshold depression can have serious consequences to one’s quality of life.

Though it responds well to effective therapeutic strategies, those suffering from subthreshold or mild depression have more reasons to cheer. As per a recent clinical trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on Feb. 21, 2017, compared with usual care, collaborative care improved depressive symptoms among older adults with subthreshold depression after four months of follow-up.

For the study, Simon Gilbody of the University of York, England, and his colleagues randomly assigned 705 people (aged 65 years or above) suffering from subthreshold depression to collaborative care. Out of the total number of participants, 58 percent were women with a mean age of 77 years. The aim of the clinical trial was to assess the effectiveness of collaborative care in reducing depression among older people with mild depression.

The participants were followed up for 12 months. During the trial, they were offered behavioral activation and finished an average of six weekly sessions. In addition, a case manager who assessed functional impairments related to mood symptoms coordinated collaborated care.

The research found that compared to casual care, collaborative care resulted in lower scores at 4-month and 12-month follow-up. According to the authors, while the differences persisted through 12 months, further research is required to assess the long-term efficacy of the treatment.

Collaborative care: An effective treatment option

Originated in a research culture, collaborative care has been tested in more than 80 randomized controlled trials in the United States and abroad. Through the trials, collaborative care has been found to consistently improve care, better patient outcomes, improve functioning, reduce health care costs and ensure better patient and provider satisfaction.

A collaborative care team consists of a primary care provider, care managers, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. The team works on guided care plan based on practice guidelines and focuses attention on patients not meeting their clinical goals. The collaborative care model differs from other behavioral models as it relies on consistent principles of chronic care delivery, and attention to accountability and quality improvement.

Leading a stress-free life

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in 2015, more than 16 million people aged 18 or older in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the previous year. Moreover, middle-aged and older adults, especially men, are more vulnerable to mental health conditions. Sovereign Health understands the plight of men suffering from mental illnesses such as depression and offers an evidence-based treatment especially designed for them.

Sovereign Health’s program called Personal Recovery Integrating Men’s Experiences (P.R.I.M.E) is devoted to treating mental illness, substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders among men aged over 40 years. A holistic treatment program, P.R.I.M.E. uses evidence-based therapies including reality therapy, solution-focused therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). It includes all levels of care, from detox to intensive outpatient treatments.

Recovery can happen at any stage of life. To get more information on Sovereign Health’s P.R.I.M.E program or other mental health programs in California, get in touch with our counselors today. Give us a call at our 24/7 helpline 866-973-7164 or chat online with our representatives to know about our finest mental health facilities in California.

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