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Revista da SPAGESP

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FERREIRA, Heloísa Gonçalves; LIMA, Daniela Maria Xavier de Souza e  and  ZERBINATTI, Régia. Cognitive behavioral therapy group for depressed older people: report on an experience. Rev. SPAGESP [online]. 2012, vol.13, n.2, pp. 86-101. ISSN 1677-2970.

This paper aims to describe an experience of a cognitive-behavioral therapy internship program to treat a group of depressed elderly. Participants were 3 women and 1 man, aged 60-64. The Beck Anxiety Inventory and The Beck Depression Inventory were conducted to assess the participants’ humour states before, during, and in the end of the intervention during a 2-month follow-up period. The intervention was structured in 16 sessions, with parts that aimed: (1) creating conditions to increase the frequency of pleasant activities; (2) promotion of social skills; (3) teaching techniques for anxiety management; (4) teaching techniques for stress management; and (5) evaluation of BDI’s and BAI’s scores. The group’s BDI means before (M = 20,25; SD = 11,38) and after (M = 13,75; SD = 12,41) the intervention indicate that depression symptoms decreased after the treatment. However, two participants did not reach a low level of depression in the end of the treatment, and were referred to continue in the psychotherapy group intervention. It was concluded that the group context is appropriate to treat depressed elderly.

Keywords : Depression; Elderly; Cognitive-behavioral therapy; Groups.

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