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01.12.2019 | Study protocol | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Geriatrics 1/2019

Effectiveness of a group-based psychosocial program to prevent depression and anxiety in older people attending primary health care centres: a randomised controlled trial

BMC Geriatrics > Ausgabe 1/2019
Sandra Saldivia, Carolina Inostroza, Claudio Bustos, Paulina Rincón, Joseph Aslan, Vasily Bühring, Maryam Farhang, Michael King, Félix Cova
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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.


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.


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.
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