Lay-delivered behavioral activation for depressed senior center clients: Pilot RCT
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Objective: We describe the development of a lay-delivered behavioral intervention (“Do More, Feel Better”) for depressed senior center clients, and we present preliminary data from a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) on (a) the feasibility of training lay volunteers to fidelity and (b) the acceptability, impact, and safety of the intervention. Methods: We trained 11 volunteers at two aging service settings in “Do More, Feel Better” and randomized 18 depressed clients to receive the intervention or referral to mental health services. Results: Pilot data indicated that we can successfully train and certify 64% of older volunteers and that depressed clients receiving the intervention reported high levels of session attendance and satisfaction. While there were no significant differences in 12-week reduction in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores between groups, intervention clients showed an 8-point reduction in comparison with a 0-point reduction among referral clients. Conclusions: “Do More, Feel Better” has the potential of transferring evidence-based behavioral interventions to the hands of supervised lay volunteers and can address the insufficient workforce providing geriatric mental health services.
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