Review Articlevolume 2 Issue 4

The Impact of Behavioural Change Counseling on Depression among the Elderly

Asma Hamdoon Hamad AL1 and Alya Ali Abdullah AL Hasni2*

Published: March 29, 2022

DOI : 10.55162/MCMS.02.028

Abstract  

Objectives: Depression is the second leading cause of disability among elderly patients and negatively affects quality of life. This study aimed to explore the impact of a behavioural counselling intervention on elderly patients with depression in Oman. The hypothesis was that, as engagement with social support and activities increased, depression score would decline. Methods: This observational cross-sectional study included 16 elderly patients attending the elderly outpatient clinic of Al Ghubra Health Centre, a primary health care (PHC) institution in Muscat, Oman. All patients had been diagnosed with depression using the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15). Each patient underwent short weekly behavioural counselling sessions involving cognitive behavioural therapy, problem-solving therapy and interpersonal therapy over a period of four months. Pre-and post-intervention GDS-15 scores were compared to assess the impact of the intervention using a paired sample t-test. Results: There was a significant reduction in mean GDS-15 score following the intervention (mean score: 8.63 ± 3.18 versus 6.00 ± 3.69; P <0.001). Moreover, the mean number of weekly social activities increased from 0.75 ± 0.93 to 5.50 ± 2.92. Conclusion: The findings of this study support the implementation of brief, cost-effective behavioural counselling interventions at PHC institutions in Oman in order to prevent or reduce depression among the elderly.

Keywords: Elderly; Depression; Behavior Modification; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Primary Health Care; Geriatric Assessment; Oman