Late-life depression and functional disability: the role of goal-focused group psychotherapy

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 1998 Oct;13(10):707-16. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1099-1166(1998100)13:10<707::aid-gps856>;2-q.


This study compares the efficacy of two time-limited group psychotherapies for depression and functional disability in late life. Goal-focused group psychotherapy (GFGP) utilized focused psychoeducation and skills training to assist each patient in the achievement of individualized goals. Reminiscence therapy (RT) emphasized individual life review to facilitate discussion. Subjects (N = 13), ages 55 and above, with major depression were randomly assigned to one of the two groups. Most were receiving antidepressant treatment. All had failed to achieve full remission. Whereas both treatment groups improved in depressed mood and disability, GFGP subjects had a far greater change in depressive symptomatology and also improved in the areas of hope, hopelessness, anxiety and social functioning.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychotherapy, Group / methods*