Friday, 1 November 2013

Adjustment, depression, and anxiety in mild cognitive impairment and early dementia

Bridget Regan 125Many people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or early dementia suffer from associated depression and anxiety disorders, which in some cases may be related to difficulties adjusting to their diagnosis. Successful adjustment and alleviation of depression and anxiety symptoms in these people is of critical importance for quality of life and may also help prevent, or delay, further cognitive decline.

Bridget Regan from the Monash Ageing Research Centre (MONARC) and Laura Varanelli (Lincoln Centre for Research on Ageing at LaTrobe University) looked at a  variety of psychosocial intervention approaches that have been trialled in this area.  Their findings were published in International Psychogeriatrics, pp.1-22.

Literature was systematically searched for community-based intervention studies aimed at improving depression, anxiety or adjustment.  Seventeen of 925 studies identified through literature databases and manual searches met the inclusion criteria.  The various studies looked at a diverse range of psychotherapeutic approaches, formats (e.g. individual or group) and outcome measures.

Several studies have demonstrated positive findings in the treatment of depression in older adults with early dementia using problem solving and modified cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) approaches.  However their findings concluded that there is a need for replication studies using more rigorous methodology before clear clinical recommendations can be made.

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