Older veterans benefit from CBT intervention for depression

August 4, 2014

The US Department of Veteran Affairs have published a study this month (Nov, 2013) that demonstrates the comparable efficacy for older veterans in the management of depression through CBT as the younger veteran population aged 18-65 years.

This study included 100 older veterans and 764 younger veterans and there were similar outcomes for both populations suggesting an approximate 40% reduction in depression symptoms and scores.

Depression in the older population is associated with reduced quality of life, increased mortality, increased risk and difficulties associated with medical illness and social and environmental difficulties.

Adults from 18 years to well above 65 years benefit from CBT therapy for the management of depressed mood, including in the Veteran population. Motivating the older adult population to seek psychological treatment of depressed mood is a worthwhile goal both for the veteran and general community.

Karlin, B.E., Trockel, M., Brown, G.K., Gordienko, M., Yesavage, J., & Taylor, C.B. (2013). Comparison of the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for depression among older versus younger veterans: Results of a national evaluation. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.