Objective: The study objective was to determine the acceptability and treatment outcome of using Beating the Blues (BTB) with older people (65+ years). Specific aims included identifying the treatment uptake and drop-out rate, and describing the role of basic demographics in therapy uptake.
Method: Fifty-eight participants, experiencing symptoms of depression, were given a free choice of receiving treatment as usual (TAU) plus BTB (TAU + BTB) or TAU alone. All participants completed demographic questionnaires and a range of outcome measures at baseline, 2months after baseline (end of treatment) and 3 months after baseline (follow-up).
Results: Thirty-three participants (56.9%) opted to receive BTB and reported having more experience and confidence using a computer than those who declined BTB. Twenty-four participants (72.7%) went on to complete all eight BTB sessions. Statistical analysis found significant differences between the two treatment groups, with the TAU + BTB group showing greater improvements in their symptoms of depression and anxiety than the TAU group by the end of treatment and at follow-up. Furthermore, the TAU + BTB group had a significantly higher percentage of participants who met criteria for clinically significant improvement in their symptoms of depression by the end of treatment and at follow-up.
Conclusion: Although further research is required, including a randomised controlled trial, the results of this initial pilot study provide evidence that BTB may offer an acceptable and effective treatment option for older people.
- Aged, 80 and over
- Analysis of Variance
- Anxiety Disorders
- Attitude to Computers
- Cognitive Therapy
- Depressive Disorder
- Patient Acceptance of Health Care
- Patient Dropouts
- Pilot Projects
- Therapy, Computer-Assisted