PSY-CARE: Depression among older adults receiving home care

Older people in need of care represent a significant and rapidly growing group of patients in which depression is a common health problem. However, the reality of care for this group is currently deficient.

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Aim

Older people in need of care represent a significant and rapidly growing group of patients in which depression is a common health problem. However, the reality of care for this group is currently deficient. Therefore, PSY-CARE is testing the feasibility and effectiveness of outpatient short-term psychotherapy for older home care patients with depression aged 60 and older, in Berlin and surrounding regions. In a randomized controlled trial study design, a regular health care service for depression in the care setting (short-term psychotherapy, intervention group, n = 110) is compared with an alternative psychosocial programme (caregiver training and self-help literature for the patients, control group, n = 110). The project is evaluated quantitatively (on the basis of patient data) and qualitatively (on the basis of treatment data and casuistries), immediately after the end of the intervention, as well as after 3 and 12 months. The primary outcome is the reduction of depression, as well as the reduction of burden in patients and their relatives, the maintenance of ADL and life satisfaction and, in the longer term, the prevention or delay of home admissions. The project PSY-CARE sheds more light on the potential and limitations of providing care for older adults receiving home care with depression, within the regular health care system.