Problem-solving therapy and supportive therapy in older adults with major depression and executive dysfunction.
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine whether problem-solving therapy is an effective treatment in older patients with depression and executive dysfunction, a population likely to be resistant to antidepressant drugs.Participants were adults age 60 and older with major depression and executive dysfunction. Problem-solving therapy was modified to be accessible to this population. Participants were randomly assigned to 12 weekly sessions of problem-solving therapy or supportive therapy and assessed at weeks 3, 6, 9, and 12.Of the 653 individuals referred for this study, 221 met selection criteria and were enrolled in the study. Reduction of depressive symptom severity was comparable for the two treatment groups during the first 6 weeks of treatment, but at weeks 9 and 12 the problem-solving therapy group had a greater reduction in symptom severity, a greater response rate, and a greater remission rate than the supportive therapy group (response rates at week 9: 47.1% and 29.3%; at week 12:56.7% and 34.0%; remission rates at week 9: 37.9% and 21.7%; at week 12: 45.6% and 27.8%). Problem-solving therapy yielded one additional response or remission over supportive therapy for every 4.4-5.6 patients by the end of the trial.These results suggest that problem-solving therapy is effective in reducing depressive symptoms and leading to treatment response and remission in a considerable number of older patients with major depression and executive dysfunction. The clinical value of this finding is that problem-solving therapy may be a treatment alternative in an older patient population likely to be resistant to pharmacotherapy.
Project description:IMPORTANCE:Problem adaptation therapy (PATH) is a treatment for older adults with major depression, cognitive impairment (from mild cognitive deficits to moderate dementia), and disability. Antidepressants have limited efficacy in this population and psychosocial interventions are inadequately investigated. OBJECTIVE:To test the efficacy of 12-week PATH vs supportive therapy for cognitively impaired patients (ST-CI) in reducing depression and disability in 74 older adults with major depression, cognitive impairment, and disability. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:A randomized clinical trial at the Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry from April 1, 2006, to September 31, 2011. Interventions were administered at the participants' homes. Participants included 74 older individuals (age ? 65 years) with major depression and cognitive impairment to the level of moderate dementia. They were recruited through collaborating community agencies of Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry and were randomly assigned to 12 weekly sessions of PATH or ST-CI (14.8% attrition rate). INTERVENTIONS:Home-delivered PATH vs home-delivered ST-CI. Problem adaptation therapy integrates a problem-solving approach with compensatory strategies, environmental adaptations, and caregiver participation to improve patients' emotion regulation. Supportive therapy for cognitively impaired patients focuses on expression of affect, understanding, and empathy. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:Mixed-effects models for longitudinal data compared the efficacy of PATH with that of ST-CI in reducing depression (Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale) and disability (World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule II) during 12 weeks of treatment. RESULTS:Participants in PATH had significantly greater reduction in depression (Cohen d, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.13-1.06; treatment × time, F(1,179) = 8.03; P =?.005) and disability (Cohen d, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.20-1.14; treatment × time, F(1,169) = 14.86; P =?.001) than ST-CI participants during the 12-week period (primary outcomes). Furthermore, PATH participants had significantly greater depression remission rates than ST-CI participants (37.84% vs 13.51%; ?(2) = 5.74; P =?.02; number needed to treat = 4.11) (secondary outcome). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:Problem adaptation therapy was more efficacious than ST-CI in reducing depression and disability. Problem adaptation therapy may provide relief to a large group of depressed and cognitively impaired older adults who have few treatment options. TRIALS REGISTRATION:Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00368940.
Project description:Changes in adolescent interpersonal behavior before and after an acute course of psychotherapy were investigated as outcomes and mediators of remission status in a previously described treatment study of depressed adolescents. Maternal depressive symptoms were examined as moderators of the association between psychotherapy condition and changes in adolescents' interpersonal behavior.Adolescents (n = 63, mean age = 15.6 years, 77.8% female, 84.1% White) engaged in videotaped interactions with their mothers before randomization to cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), systemic behavior family therapy (SBFT), or nondirective supportive therapy (NST) and after 12-16 weeks of treatment. Adolescent involvement, problem solving, and dyadic conflict were examined.Improvements in adolescent problem solving were significantly associated with CBT and SBFT. Maternal depressive symptoms moderated the effect of CBT, but not SBFT, on adolescents' problem solving; adolescents experienced increases in problem solving only when their mothers had low or moderate levels of depressive symptoms. Improvements in adolescents' problem solving were associated with higher rates of remission across treatment conditions, but there were no significant indirect effects of SBFT on remission status through problem solving. Exploratory analyses revealed a significant indirect effect of CBT on remission status through changes in adolescent problem solving, but only when maternal depressive symptoms at study entry were low.Findings provide preliminary support for problem solving as an active treatment component of structured psychotherapies for depressed adolescents and suggest one pathway by which maternal depression may disrupt treatment efficacy for depressed adolescents treated with CBT.
Project description:CONTEXT:Older patients with depression and executive dysfunction represent a population with significant disability and a high likelihood of failing pharmacotherapy. OBJECTIVES:To examine whether problem-solving therapy (PST) reduces disability more than does supportive therapy (ST) in older patients with depression and executive dysfunction and whether this effect is mediated by improvement in depressive symptoms. DESIGN:Randomized controlled trial. SETTING:Weill Cornell Medical College and University of California at San Francisco. PARTICIPANTS:Adults (aged >59 years) with major depression and executive dysfunction recruited between December 2002 and November 2007 and followed up for 36 weeks. Intervention Twelve sessions of PST modified for older depressed adults with executive impairment or ST. Main Outcome Measure Disability as quantified using the 12-item World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule II. RESULTS:Of 653 individuals referred to this study, 221 met the inclusion criteria and were randomized to receive PST or ST. Both PST and ST led to comparable improvement in disability in the first 6 weeks of treatment, but a more prominent reduction was noted in PST participants at weeks 9 and 12. The difference between PST and ST was greater in patients with greater cognitive impairment and more previous episodes. Reduction in disability paralleled reduction in depressive symptoms. The therapeutic advantage of PST over ST in reducing depression was, in part, due to greater reduction in disability by PST. Although disability increased during the 24 weeks after the end of treatment, the advantage of PST over ST was retained. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that PST is more effective than ST in reducing disability in older patients with major depression and executive dysfunction, and its benefits were retained after the end of treatment. The clinical value of this finding is that PST may be a treatment alternative in an older patient population likely to be resistant to pharmacotherapy. TRIAL REGISTRATION:clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00052091.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Antidepressants have limited efficacy in older adults with depression and cognitive impairment, and psychosocial interventions for this population have been inadequately investigated. Problem Adaptation Therapy (PATH) is a psychosocial intervention for older adults with major depression, cognitive impairment, and disability. DESIGN:This study tests the efficacy of PATH versus Supportive Therapy for Cognitively Impaired Older Adults (ST-CI) in reducing depression (Montgamery Asberg Depression Rating Scale [MADRS]) and disability (World Health Organization Disability Assessments Schedule-II [WHODAS-II]) and improving cognitive outcomes (Mini Mental State Examination [MMSE]) over 24 weeks (12 weeks of treatment and 12-week post-treatment follow-up). SETTING:Participants were recruited through collaborating community agencies of Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry. Both interventions and all research assessments were conducted at home. PARTICIPANTS:Thirty-five older adults (age ? 65 years) with major depression and cognitive impairment no dementia (CIND). INTERVENTIONS:PATH aims to increase emotion regulation by incorporating a problem-solving approach, teaching compensatory strategies, and inviting caregiver participation. Supportive Therapy aims to facilitate the expression of affect, as well as promote empathy. MEASUREMENTS:Depression was measured using the MADRS, disability using the WHODAS-II, and cognition using the MMSE. RESULTS:PATH participants showed significantly greater reduction in MADRS total score (7.04 points at 24 weeks, treatment group by time interaction: F[1,24.4] = 7.61, p = 0.0108), greater improvement in MMSE total score (2.30 points at 24 weeks, treatment group by time interaction: F[1,39.8] = 13.31, p = 0.0008), and greater improvement in WHODAS-II total score (2.95 points at 24 weeks, treatment group by time interaction: F[1,89] = 4.93, p = 0.0290) than ST-CI participants over the 24-week period. CONCLUSIONS:PATH participants had better depression, cognitive, and disability outcomes than ST-CI participants over 6 months. PATH may provide relief to depressed older adults with CIND who currently have limited treatment options.
Project description:To test the hypothesis that Problem Solving Therapy (PST) is more effective than Supportive Therapy (ST) in reducing suicidal ideation in older adults with major depression and executive dysfunction. We further explored whether patient characteristics, such as age, sex, and additional cognitive impairment load (e.g., memory impairments) were related to changes in suicidal ideation over time.Secondary data analysis using data from a randomized clinical trial allocating participants to PST or ST at 1:1 ratio. Raters were blind to patients' assignments.University medical centers.221 people aged 65 years old and older with major depression determined by Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R diagnosis and executive dysfunction as defined by a score of 33 or less on the Initiation-Perseveration Score of the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale or a Stroop Interference Task score of 25 or less.12 weekly sessions of PST or ST.The suicide item of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.Of the 221 participants, 61% reported suicidal ideation (SI). The ST group had a lower rate of improvement in SI after 12 weeks (44.6%) than did the PST group (60.4%, Fisher's exact test p = 0.031). Logistic regression showed significantly greater reductions in SI in elders who received PST at both 12 weeks (OR: .50, Z = -2.16, p = 0.031) and 36 weeks (OR: 0.5, Z = -1.96, p = 0.05) after treatment.PST is a promising intervention for older adults who are at risk for suicide. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00052091.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The study examines the relationship of negative emotions with: 1) non-emotional symptoms (e.g., vegetative and physical symptoms) and 2) the course of depression in suicidal older adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and cognitive impairment treated with psychotherapy. DESIGN:The authors identified a subgroup of participants (N?=?26) who expressed suicidal ideation at Baseline or Week 12 from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of two psychosocial interventions, Problem Adaptation Therapy (PATH) and Supportive Therapy for Cognitively Impaired. The authors assessed negative emotions, non-emotional symptoms of depression, depression severity, and suicidal ideation at entry, week 4, week 8, and week 12. PARTICIPANTS:Participants were 65 years and older and had a diagnosis of unipolar depression, varying degrees of cognitive impairment (up to moderate dementia) and suicidal ideation. SETTING:The study was conducted in the Outpatient Department of New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine in Westchester, NY. MEASUREMENTS:Negative emotions and non-emotional items were identified with the 24-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (Ham-D). RESULTS:Among participants with suicidal ideation, the reduction in negative emotions from baseline to week 4, week 4 to week 8, and week 8 to week 12 was significantly associated with the reduction in non-emotional symptoms of depression at weeks 4, 8, and 12 (F<sub>(1, 35)</sub>?=?6.20, p?=?0.02) and with the reduction in overall depression severity at weeks 4, 8, and 12 (F<sub>(1, 35)</sub>?=?26.63, p <0.0001) after controlling for depression severity at baseline (HAM-D total score) and time trends. CONCLUSION:Our findings may guide the treatment of older patients with depression and suicidal ideation to help reduce depression and suicide risk.
Project description:Depression is associated with poor social problem solving, and psychotherapies that focus on problem-solving skills are efficacious in treating depression. We examined the associations between treatment, social problem solving, and depression in a randomized clinical trial testing the efficacy of psychotherapy augmentation for chronically depressed patients who failed to fully respond to an initial trial of pharmacotherapy (Kocsis et al., 2009).Participants with chronic depression (n = 491) received cognitive-behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP; McCullough, 2000), which emphasizes interpersonal problem solving, plus medication; brief supportive psychotherapy (BSP) plus medication; or medication alone for 12 weeks.CBASP plus pharmacotherapy was associated with significantly greater improvement in social problem solving than BSP plus pharmacotherapy, and a trend for greater improvement in problem solving than pharmacotherapy alone. In addition, change in social problem solving predicted subsequent change in depressive symptoms over time. However, the magnitude of the associations between changes in social problem solving and subsequent depressive symptoms did not differ across treatment conditions.It does not appear that improved social problem solving is a mechanism that uniquely distinguishes CBASP from other treatment approaches.
Project description:PURPOSE:Breast cancer (BC) is a risk factor for major depressive disorder (MDD), yet little research has tested the efficacy of different psychotherapies for depressed women with BC. This study, the largest to date, compared outcomes of three evidence-based, 12-week therapies in treating major depressive disorder among women with breast cancer. METHODS:This randomized trial compared interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), problem solving therapy (PST), and brief supportive psychotherapy (BSP). Conducted at the outpatient clinic of the New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University, the trial offered bilingual treatment by treatment-specific psychotherapists supervised by treatment experts. The primary outcome was change in the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes included other validated patient-reported outcomes for depression and quality of life. RESULTS:Of 179 women with breast cancer screening positive for depression at the Columbia Cancer Center, 134 eligible patients signed informed treatment consent. Half of patients were Hispanic and economically disadvantaged. Most women had stage I (35.2%) or II (36.9%) BC; 9% had stage IV. The three brief psychotherapies showed similar improvements on the HAM-D, with large pre-post effect sizes (d?~?1.0); a priori defined response rates were 35% for IPT, 50% for PST and 31% for BSP, and remission rates 25%, 30% and 27%, respectively. The three treatments also showed similar improvements in the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire. Dropout was high, ranging from 37 to 52% across treatments. Predictors of dropout included having?<?16 years of education and annual family income <?$20,000. CONCLUSIONS:Among patients who completed treatment, all three psychotherapies were associated with similar, meaningful improvements in depression. Physical distance between the oncology and psychiatric treatment sites might have contributed to high dropout. This study suggests various psychotherapy approaches may benefit patients with breast cancer and major depression.
Project description:Previous research found a high prevalence of depression, along with chronic illnesses and disabilities, among older ED patients. This study examined the relationship between depressive symptom severity and the number of ED visits among low-income homebound older adults who participated in a randomized controlled trial of telehealth problem-solving therapy (PST).The number of and reasons for ED visits were collected from the study participants (n=121 at baseline) at all assessment points-baseline and 12- and 24-week follow-ups. Depressive symptoms were measured with the 24-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD). All multivariable analyses examining the relationships between ED visits and depressive symptoms were conducted using zero-inflated Poisson regression models.Of the participants, 67.7% used the ED at least once and 61% of the visitors made at least one return visit during the approximately 12-month period. Body pain (not from fall injury and not including chest pain) was the most common reason. The ED visit frequency at baseline and at follow-up was significantly positively associated with the HAMD scores at the assessment points. The ED visit frequency at follow-up, controlling for the ED visits at baseline, was also significantly associated with the HAMD score change since baseline.The ED visit rate was much higher than those reported in other studies. Better education on self-management of chronic conditions, depression screening by primary care physicians and ED, and depression treatment that includes symptom management and problem-solving skills may be important to reduce ED visits among medically ill, low-income homebound adults.ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00903019.
Project description:Depression is a mental health condition for which individuals commonly seek treatment. However, depressive episodes often resolve on their own, even without treatment. One evolutionary perspective, the analytical rumination hypothesis (ARH), suggests that depression occurs in response to complex problems. According to this perspective, depressive symptoms promote analytical rumination, i.e., distraction-resistant thoughts about the causes of problems [causal analysis (CA)] and how they can be solved [problem-solving analysis (PSA)]. By helping individuals solve complex problems, analytical rumination may contribute to remission from depression. The aim of this study was to investigate (1) whether clinically-depressed individuals have more complex problems and engage in more CA and PSA than non-depressed and (2) the effects of CA and PSA on decreases in problem complexity, depressive symptoms, and remission from the depression. Samples of 85 patients were treated for depression with antidepressants and psychotherapy, and 49 healthy subjects were assessed three times over a 4-month period (at Weeks 1, 5, and 16). At each assessment, they completed measures of depression, analytical rumination, and problem complexity. Depressed individuals reported having more complex problems and engaging in more CA than non-depressed participants. The two groups engaged in a similar degree of PSA. Findings from a multiple regression suggested that more PSA at Week 1 was related to a decrease in depressive symptoms at Week 5, even after controlling for baseline depression, problem number, and complexity. PSA at Week 1 did not predict the remission after hospitalization or at follow-up; however, having less complex problems at the baseline made it more likely that a patient would later remit. Engaging in more CA or PSA at Week 1 did not affect perceived problem complexity at Week 5 or at follow-up. However, these findings were not statistically significant when influential observations (or outliers) were included in the analysis. Our findings suggest that PSA may contribute to a decrease in symptoms of depression over time. However, alleviations in problem complexity and remission might only be achieved if problems are initially less complex. Future directions involve exploring how PSA might contribute to decreases in depressive symptoms and other mechanisms underlying remission from depression.