Original Paper

Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 476-484

First online:

The Effects of Integrative Reminiscence on Depressive Symptomatology and Mastery of Older Adults

  • Ernst BohlmeijerAffiliated withTwente University Email author 
  • , Jeannet KramerAffiliated withTrimbos-instituut
  • , Filip SmitAffiliated withTrimbos-instituut
  • , Simone OnrustAffiliated withTrimbos-instituut
  • , Harm van MarwijkAffiliated withTrimbos-instituut

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A quasi-experimental (non-randomized) study was conducted to study the effects of a new intervention The story of your life that combines integrative reminiscence with narrative therapy. The program consists of seven sessions of two hours and one follow-up session after 8 weeks. It is directed at community-dwelling people of 55 years and older with mild to moderate depressive symptoms. After the intervention the participants showed significantly less depressive symptoms and higher mastery, also in comparison with a waiting-list control group. Demographic factors and initial levels of depressive symptomatology and mastery were not found to moderate the effects. The effects were maintained at 3 months after completion of the intervention. Although the new program was positively evaluated by the majority of the participants there is room for improvement. Adaptations should be made, and evaluated in a randomised controlled trial.


Integrative reminiscence Narrative therapy Depression Mastery Older adults