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Effectiveness of a village-based intervention for depression in community-dwelling older adults: a randomised feasibility study

Cited 7 time in Web of Science Cited 7 time in Scopus

Oh, In Mok; Cho, Maeng Je; Hahm, Bong-Jin; Kim, Byung-Soo; Sohn, Jee Hoon; Suk, Hye Won; Jung, Bu Young; Kim, Hye Jung; Kim, Hyeon A; Choi, Ki Bok; You, Da Hye; Lim, Ah. Reum; Park, In Ok; Ahn, Jeung Hyuck; Lee, Hee; Kim, Yeon Hee; Kim, Mi Ra; Park, Jee Eun

Issue Date
BMC Geriatrics, 20(1):89
Old-agedCommunity-basedInterventionLate-life depressionSuicide
Although a focus on late-life depression may help preventing suicide in older adults, many older people, especially those living in rural areas, have relatively low accessibility to treatment. This study examined the feasibility and effectiveness of a village-based intervention for depression targeting older adults living in rural areas.

A community-based randomised pilot trial was performed in two small rural villages in South Korea. Two villages were randomly selected and assigned to the intervention or active control group; all older adults living in the two villages (n = 451) were included in the intervention program or received standard Community Mental Health Service (CMHS) care, and the effectiveness of the program was examined using representative samples from both groups (n = 160). The 12-week intervention included case management according to individual risk level and group-based activities. Healthy residents living in the intervention village who played major roles in monitoring at-risk older individuals were supervised by CMHS staff. The score on the Korean version of the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form (SGDS-K) was the primary outcome, while social network, functional status, and global cognitive function were secondary outcomes. Linear mixed models including the factors of intervention group, time, and their interaction were used to examine group differences in changes in primary and secondary outcomes from baseline to follow up.

Overall, there was no significant group × time interaction with respect to the SGDS-K score, but older individuals with more depressive symptoms at baseline (SGDS-K ≥ 6) tended to have a lower likelihood of progressing to severe depression at post-intervention. The social network was strengthened in the intervention group, and there was a significant group × time interaction (F[df1, df2], 5.29 [1, 153], p = 0.023).

This study examined a 12-week village-based intervention for late-life depression in which the CMHS helped village-dwellers deal with late-life depression in their communities. Although the intervention improved social interactions among older adults, it did not reduce depressive symptoms. Further studies including more rural villages and long-term follow up are needed to confirm the effectiveness of this prevention program.

NCT04013165 (date: 9 July 2019, retrospectively registered).
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