At-home care cuts depression in older African-Americans

August 20, 2013
At-home care cuts depression in older african-americans
A home-based intervention delivered by social workers reduces symptoms and improves quality of life in older African-Americans with depressive symptoms, according to research published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

(HealthDay)—A home-based intervention delivered by social workers reduces symptoms and improves quality of life in older African-Americans with depressive symptoms, according to research published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Laura N. Gitlin, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues randomly assigned 208 African-Americans aged 55 years and older with depressive symptoms to either a multicomponent, home-based care management (106 patients) or a wait-list control group (102 patients).

The researchers found that, among the 89 participants who completed four months of the intervention program (compared with 93 participants in the control group) significant differences were observed in reduced severity of depression, increased knowledge of depression, improved quality of life, greater behavioral activation, reduced anxiety, and improved function. At four months, more participants in the intervention group entered remission (43.8 percent) than those in the control group (26.9 percent).

"African-Americans often have limited options," the authors write. "A home-based intervention delivered by social workers could reduce depressive symptoms and enhance quality of life in some older African-Americans."

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