Objectives: To identify cognitive predictors of geriatric depression treatment outcome.
Method: Older participants completed baseline measures of memory and executive function, health, and baseline and post-treatment Hamilton Depression Scales (HAM-D) in a 12-week trial comparing psychotherapies (problem-solving vs. supportive; N = 46). We examined cognitive predictors to identify treatment responders (i.e., HAM-D scores reduced by ≥50%) and remitters (i.e., post-treatment HAM-D score ≤10).
Results: Empirically derived decision trees identified poorer performance on switching (i.e., Trails B), with a cut-score of ≥82 predicting psychotherapy responders. No other cognitive or health variables predicted psychotherapy outcomes in the decision trees.
Conclusions: Psychotherapies that support or improve the executive skill of switching may augment treatment response for older patients exhibiting executive dysfunction in depression. If replicated, Trails B has potential as a brief cognitive tool for clinical decision-making in geriatric depression.
Keywords: Intervention; cognitive predictors; depressed; older adults; psychological treatments; treatment outcome.
Published by Elsevier Inc.