Passive coping response to depressive symptoms among low-income homebound older adults: Does it affect depression severity and treatment outcome?
Due to their homebound state, lack of financial resources, and/or other life demands, a significant proportion of depressed, low-income homebound older adults experience depression. Because of their limited access to psychotherapy, most of these older adults self-manage their depressive symptoms. The purposes of this study were to examine (1) the relationship between homebound older adults' coping responses to depressed mood and the severity of their depressive symptoms at baseline (n = 121), and (2) the moderating effect of passive coping responses on the relationship between participation in problem-solving therapy (PST: in-person or telehealth delivery) and depressive symptoms at 12- and 24-week follow-ups. Controlling for the effects of demographic and disability characteristics, cognitive passive coping was significantly associated with baseline depressive symptoms, while behavioral passive coping was not. The main effect of baseline cognitive passive coping response was also significant in mixed-effects regression analysis, but the interaction between coping pattern and group was not significant. The results point to a possibility that cognitive passive copers may have benefited as much from PST as the rest of the PST participants. Further research needs to examine the moderating effect of coping responses to depressive symptoms on treatment efficacy of PST and other psychosocial interventions for late-life depression.