Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives for Seniors (PEARLS)

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Categories associated with best practice:

  • Individual
  • PP-icon1
  • Seniors (ages 65+) icon
  • English
  • Home
  • Mental Health Icon 2
  • Personal health practices and coping skills
  • Physical Activity

Overview

PEARLS for Older Adults was designed to treat minor depression and dysthymic disorder in adults aged sixty and older. Individuals in this study were relatively homebound and had an average of five chronic medical conditions. The PEARLS intervention is typically conducted over six to eight sessions in a six-month period and consists of problem solving treatment (PST), behavioral activation, and pleasant activities scheduling. Those who were treated with the PEARLS Program were three times as likely to experience a reduction in their depressive symptoms as those who were not treated with the PEARLS Program. Methods: RCT conducted in community senior service agencies in metropolitan Seattle, Washington, from January 2000 to May 2003 with 100 patients 60 years or older with minor depression (51.4%) or dysthymia (48.6%). 72 patients were assigned to the PEARLS intervention and 66 were assigned to usual care. Study assessed depression and quality of life at baseline and 12 months. Patients in the intervention group were more likely to have at least a 50% reduction in depressive symptoms, to achieve complete remission from depression, and to have greater health-related quality-of-life improvements in functional well-being (P=.001) and emotional well-being (P=.048) compared to usual care group at 12 months. The PEARLS program was found to significantly reduce depressive symptoms and improved health status in chronically medically ill older adults with minor depression and dysthymia.

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