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Social activities effective in preventing depression among older adults

Date:
December 10, 2010
Source:
Nordic School of Public Health
Summary:
Interventions focused on social activities significantly decrease depressive symptoms among older adults. Meaningful social activities adapted to the older adults' individual needs and abilities should be recognized in the planning of older care, according to researchers.

Interventions focused on social activities significantly decrease depressive symptoms among older adults. This is the results from a recent study.

"Meaningful social activities adapted to the older adults' individual needs and abilities should be recognized in the planning of older care," says Anna Forsman, PhD student at The Nordic School of Public Health.

Depression is the most prevalent mental health disorder among older adults and with the aging population constantly increasing; this is a public health issue that needs to be prioritized. Psychosocial interventions have a significant effect in preventing depressive symptoms among older people aged 65 years or older. Various forms of psychosocial interventions with the aim to prevent depression and promote mental health among older people have been compared in the systematic review. -- Looking at different forms of psychosocial interventions, social activities are the most promising in regard to improving the mental health of older adults, says Anna Forsman.

In addition to the effect shown for social activities, no significant effect could be found for interventions focused on physical exercise, skill training, support groups, reminiscence, or interventions with combined content.

Her systematic review and meta-analysis is based on systematic searches in 11 electronic databases up until October 2009. The aim was to collect and evaluate evidence-based knowledge and good examples on how to prevent the onset of depression and promote the mental health among older people.

The research was conducted within the EU financed project DataPrev, the aim of which is to evaluate evidence-based interventions for mental health promotion and mental disorder prevention across the lifespan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Nordic School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Forsman AK, Schierenbeck I, Wahlbeck K. Psychosocial Interventions for the Prevention of Depression in Older Adults: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.. J Aging Health, [link]

Cite This Page:

Nordic School of Public Health. "Social activities effective in preventing depression among older adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101210075926.htm>.
Nordic School of Public Health. (2010, December 10). Social activities effective in preventing depression among older adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101210075926.htm
Nordic School of Public Health. "Social activities effective in preventing depression among older adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101210075926.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

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