Religious coping and acceptability and outcome of short-term psychotherapeutic treatments for depression among low-income homebound older adults

Aging Ment Health. 2021 Mar;25(3):431-438. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2019.1697204. Epub 2019 Dec 3.


Objectives: To examine (1) correlates of religious coping, and (2) associations of religious coping at baseline with evaluation of treatment acceptability and depressive symptom severity outcomes of short-term psychotherapeutic depression treatments among 277 low-income homebound older adults (70% female; 41% non-Hispanic White, 30% African American, and 29% Hispanic) who participated in a treatment effectiveness trial.

Method: Religious coping was measured with a 2-item subscale of the Brief COPE. Treatment acceptability was measured with the 11-item Treatment Evaluation Inventory (TEI). Depressive symptoms were measured with the 24-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD). We used linear regression modeling to examine correlates of religious coping at baseline and to examine associations of religious coping with treatment acceptability and depression outcome at 12 weeks.

Results: Being female and being African American predicted higher religious coping. Additionally, active coping, emotional support coping, and clergy consultation on depression were significantly associated with higher religious coping. Religious coping was not significantly associated with TEI and HAMD scores at 12 weeks.

Conclusion: The findings show that once these older adults participate in depression treatment, they find it highly acceptable and benefit from treatment, regardless of their religious coping, and that psychotherapeutic treatment is a highly acceptable and effective addition to those with religious-oriented coping.

Keywords: Homebound older adults; depression; religious coping; treatment acceptability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Depression / therapy
  • Female
  • Homebound Persons*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Poverty
  • Psychotherapy, Brief*