Effects of a mutual recovery intervention on mental health in depressed elderly community-dwelling adults: a pilot study

Wang, Chao, Hua, Yujie, Fu, Hua, Cheng, Longfeng, Qian, Wen, Liu, Junyang, Crawford, Paul and Dai, Junming (2017) Effects of a mutual recovery intervention on mental health in depressed elderly community-dwelling adults: a pilot study. BMC Public Health, 17 . 4/1-4/10. ISSN 1471-2458

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The prevalence of depression in the elderly is growing worldwide, and the population aging in China makes depression a major health problem for the elderly adults and a tremendous burden to the society. Effective interventions should be determined to provide an approach solving the problem and improving the situation. This study examined the effectiveness of a mutual recovery program intervention on depressive symptom, sleep quality, and well-being in community-dwelling elderly adults with depressive symptom in Shanghai.


Recruitment was performed between July 2012 and August 2012. Using a cluster randomized wait-list controlled design, we randomized 6 communities (n = 237) into either the intervention group (3 communities, n = 105) or to a wait-list control group (3 communities, n = 132). All participants met the inclusion criteria for depression, which were defined by The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15). From March to May of 2013, participants in the intervention group underwent a 2-month mutual recovery program intervention. The intervention included seven 90-min, weekly sessions that were based on a standardized self-designed schedule. Depression was used as primary outcome at three measurement moments: baseline (T1), before intervention at 24 weeks (T2), and immediately after intervention at 32 weeks (T3). Well-being and sleep quality were used as the secondary outcomes, and were evaluated based on the WHO-5 Well-being Index (WHO-5) and the Self-administered Sleep Questionnaire (SSQ). Finally, a total of 225 participants who completed all the sessions and the three measurements entered the final analysis. Mixed-model repeated measures ANOVAs were performed to estimate the intervention effects.


There was no significant difference in gender, marriage, age structure, post-work type, and education background between the intervention and control group at baseline. Multivariate ANOVAs showed that there was no significant difference within the groups in terms of sleep, well-being, and depression at baseline and before the intervention. Mixed-model repeated measures ANOVAs detected a group × time interaction on depression, sleep, and well-being and showed a favorable intervention effect within groups immediately after the intervention.


The mutual recovery program could be a creative and effective approach to improve mental health in older community-dwelling adults with depressive symptom.

Item Type: Article
RIS ID: https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/842237
Keywords: Mental health, Depression, Well-being, Intervention, Elderly population
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-3930-z
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2017 09:52
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 18:31
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/40098

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