Title. Self-worth therapy for depressive symptoms in older nursing home residents.
Aim. The aim of this study is to report the effects of self-worth therapy on depressive symptoms of older nursing home residents.
Background. Depression in older people has become a serious healthcare issue worldwide. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies have been shown to have inconsistent effects, and drug treatment can have important side-effects.
Method. A quasi-experimental design was used. Older people were sampled by convenience from residents of a nursing home in northern Taiwan between 2005 and 2006. To be included in the study participants had to: (i) have no severe cognitive deficits; (ii) test positive for depressive status and (iii) take the same anti-depressant medication in the previous 3 months and throughout the study. Participants in the experimental group (n = 31) received 30 minutes of one-to-one self-worth therapy on 1 day a week for 4 weeks. Control group participants (n = 32) received no therapy, but were individually visited by the same research assistant, who chatted with them for 30 minutes on 1 day/week for 4 weeks. Depressive status, cognitive status and functional status were measured at baseline, immediately after the intervention and 2 months later. Data were analysed by mean, standard deviations, t-test, chi-squared test and univariate anova.
Findings. Self-worth therapy immediately decreased depressive symptoms relative to baseline, but not relative to control treatment. However, 2 months later, depressive symptoms were statistically significantly reduced relative to control.
Conclusion. Self-worth therapy is an easily-administered, effective, non-pharmacological treatment with potential for decreasing depressive symptoms in older nursing home residents.