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Is psychotherapy for depression equally effective in younger and older adults? A meta-regression analysis
Vrije University Amsterdam.
Vrije University Amsterdam.
Vrije University Amsterdam.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Clinical and Social Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4753-6745
2009 (English)In: International psychogeriatrics, ISSN 1041-6102, E-ISSN 1741-203X, Vol. 21, no 1, 16-24 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: It is well established that psychotherapy is effective in the treatment of depression in younger as well as in older adults. Whether these psychotherapies are equally effective in younger and older age groups has not been examined in meta-analytic research.

Methods: We conducted a systematic literature search and included 112 studies with 170 comparisons between a psychotherapy and a control group (with a total of 7,845 participants). Twenty studies with 26 comparisons were aimed at older adults.

Results: We found no indication that psychotherapies were more or less effective for older adults compared to younger adults. The effect sizes of both groups of comparisons did not differ significantly from each other (older adults: d = 0.74; 95% CI: 0.49 similar to 0.99; younger adults: d = 0.67; 95% CI: 0.58 similar to 0.76). In a multivariate metaregression analysis, in which we controlled for major characteristics of the participants, the interventions and the study designs, no indication of a difference between psychotherapy in younger and older adults was found.

Conclusions: There appears to be no significant difference between psychotherapy in younger and older adults, although it is not clear whether this is also true for clinical samples, patients with more severe depression, and the older old.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 21, no 1, 16-24 p.
Keyword [en]
meta-analysis, depression, major depressive disorder, psychological treatment, psychotherapy, older adults
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17152DOI: 10.1017/S1041610208008089OAI: diva2:202142
Available from: 2009-03-07 Created: 2009-03-07 Last updated: 2014-11-28

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Andersson, Gerhard
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