Background: Evidence about the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions to reduce the incidence of depression and anxiety and promote subjective well-being in older people is limited, particularly in Latin-American countries. This study thus aims to assess a program specifically designed to address this issue in persons aged 65 to 80 and attending primary health care centres.
Method: Older people who use primary care centres are to be randomly assigned to the program or to a control group. Only independent users will be included; those having had a major depressive disorder or an anxiety disorder in the last 6 months will be excluded. The program is group based; it includes cognitive stimulation, expansion of social support networks and cognitive behaviour strategies. Depressive and anxiety symptoms and disorders, as well as psychological well-being, will be assessed using standardised instruments, once before implementing the program and later, after 18 and 36 weeks.
Discussion: Primary care is a setting where interventions to improve mental health can be beneficial. Providing evidence-based programs that work with older people is a priority for public mental health.
Trial registration: A protocol for this study has been registered prospectively at ISRCTN registry on 25 July 2018. Identifier: ISRCTN32235611 .
Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Mental health; Older people; Prevention; Promotion; The elderly.