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Review: group cognitive behavioural therapy reduces depression symptoms in older adults with depression compared with waiting list control

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Is group psychotherapy an effective treatment for older adults with depression?


Changes in depression scale scores.



Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Data sources

Medline, Embase, PsychoInfo, CINAHL, Cochrane and Controlled trials register were searched up to April 2009. Additional studies were identified by reviewing evidence and guidelines from National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, the Society of Psychotherapy Research and the British Association of Psychotherapy; by searching dissertation abstracts; by hand searches of reference lists and key journals; and through contact with experts in the field. Published and unpublished research in any language were included.

Study selection and analysis

All randomised and cluster-randomised controlled trials (RCT) involving at least one form of formalised psychotherapeutic treatment in a group setting (more than three members) with adults aged 50 years or older diagnosed with depression (using standardised diagnostic criteria). Depression could be primary or secondary to a physical illness. The group psychotherapy could not be administered in combination with any other psychotherapy, educational or psychosocial interventions. Studies in people with significant cognitive impairment, other primary mental …

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  • Sources of funding None reported.


  • Competing interests None.