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Keywords:

  • Action research;
  • CBT;
  • evaluation;
  • group therapy;
  • mixed method;
  • older adult

Abstract

The current paper details an action research approach to developing and evaluating a group cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) program for older adults (65+ years) experiencing depression. This approach allowed the development of a novel program and for each component of the program to be evaluated and modified in an iterative, developmental fashion – a particularly important, ethically responsive feature when working with vulnerable populations. Formative and summative evaluations allowed the identification of beneficial, cohort-specific elements of an intervention without compromising individual wellbeing. A mixed methods data design was used to triangulate multiple and repeated quantitative and qualitative measures; in essence, a formalisation of usual clinical practice. The outcomes from the pilot study will be discussed in the context of a methodology that uniquely facilitates microanalytic research while maintaining therapeutic accountability, making replication and program accountability available to all clinicians.