Patient and Clinician Assessments of Symptomatology Changes on Older Adults Following a Psycho-educational Program for Depression and Anxiety

Psychiatr Q. 2016 Dec;87(4):649-662. doi: 10.1007/s11126-016-9416-4.


Important attention has been given to the assessment of patients' perspectives on treatment, especially as outcomes have been typically evaluated by clinicians. This study examined the association between patient and clinician ratings on perceived improvement and symptomatology changes for an older adult population participating in an ongoing psycho-educational program. Pre-post measures including depression (GDS), anxiety (BAI) and general well-being (GWBS) were collected in a sample of 34 older adults (age = 71.32 ± 6.46 years). Post-testing data included perceived improvement rated by patients, and clinician assessment of depressive symptoms (CS-GDS). Results indicate significant correlations between pre-post changes of the GDS and patients' PIQ (r = -0.37, n = 31, p < 0.05), but not on symptomatic changes of the BAI (r = 0.012, n = 32, p > 0.05) or the GWBS (r = 0.12, n = 31, p > 0.05). Relationships between patients' PIQ and post-ratings on GDS (r = -0.74, n = 33, p < 0.05) and CS-GDS (r = -0.48, n = 32, p < 0.05) are also significant. Results imply that pre-post improvement in depressive symptoms is associated with a patient's perceived improvement and that clinician and patient ratings on depression symptoms post-treatment were both inversely correlated to patients' perceived improvement. Findings suggest that the PIQ is a good indicator to assess symptomatic change by patients and clinicians although they are possibly placing attention on different aspects of treatment outcome, as indicated by differences on sub-scales of the PIQ. Clinicians possibly place a strong focus on assessments of depression symptomatology. Future studies may integrate simultaneous assessments of instruments exploring aspects other than depression, especially those examining representations of illness in older adults.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Older adults; Perceived improvement; Treatment outcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Psychotherapy*
  • Treatment Outcome