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Problem-Solving Therapy Eases Late-Life Depression Among OAs

November 13, 2020

Problem-solving therapy appears to be effective in easing symptoms of major depressive disorder in older adults, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research.

“Major depressive disorder is a global public health problem among older adults,” researchers wrote. “Many studies show that problem-solving therapy is a cognitive behavioral approach that can effectively treat late-life depression.” 

The systematic review and meta-analysis included 10 randomized controlled trials evaluating problem-solving therapy for major depressive disorder. More than 890 older adults were included in the studies, which were written in English or Chinese and published before February 2020. 

Compared with control subjects, older adults who received problem-solving therapy had significantly lower depression scores, according to the meta-analysis. Researchers reported a standard mean difference of -1.06. 

“Compared with waitlist, problem-solving therapy has a significant effect on elderly patients with depression,” they concluded, “but we cannot rank the therapeutic effects of all the treatment methods used for major depressive disorders.” 

Jolynn Tumolo 


Shang P, Cao X, You S, Feng X, Li N, Jia Y. Problem-solving therapy for major depressive disorders in older adults: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 7]. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2020;10.1007/s40520-020-01672-3. doi:10.1007/s40520-020-01672-3

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