, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 57-69

Social reinforcement of activity and problem-solving training in the treatment of depressed institutionalized elderly patients

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Thirty-six depressed nursing-home patients over 60 were divided into two experimental groups to test the relative effectiveness of two approaches to reduce geriatric depression. Twelve subjects received social reinforcement (SR)for their participation in an activity, 12 received problem-solving training (PS),and 12 served as a waiting list control condition (WLC).During the 2nd treatment week, the subjects were randomly divided into the following conditions: PS-PS, PS-SR, SR-SR, SR-PS, WLC-WLC, and WLC-IC. The BDI, a self-rating scale (SRS),and the HAS were administered to the subjects. After the initial treatment week, the two experimental conditions showed significantly lower BDI and SRS scores than the WLC group. After the random division of the groups (treatment week 2),when compared with the waiting list controls, only those groups that received problem-solving training significantly reduced their scores on the BDI.