Cognitive Therapy and the Elderly

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Problem Statement:
Magnitude of Problem:
Aging is an occurrence we are all familiar with, a trait characteristic of all mankind. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's, the elderly population will more than double between now and the year 2050. By 2050, as many as 1 in 5 Americans will be elderly; and as the United States elderly population increases, so does the need for diverse health care (National Institute of Health, 2003). Moreover, it is estimated that 18 to 25 percent of elder adult are in need of mental health care for depression. Research Proposal 2

As professional social workers know, depression is an illness than can have debilitating effects on individuals and families. The disorder can feature symptoms such as sadness, irritability, hopelessness, helplessness, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness and thoughts of dying. The impact that depression can have on the quality of life can be all encompassing, and can lead the individual to withdraw from activities of daily living. Fit With Previous Literature:

With this in mind, cognitive behavioral therapy has been clinically shown to improve depression in late life adults. Unfortunately, the majority of studies conducted have been with individuals who are demographically and clinically homogenous. They are largely white educated and physically healthy. There has been little or no research conducted with patients who are ethnically diverse, less educated, physically and/or functionally impaired. Research Proposal 3

Future research for cognitive behavior therapy will need to address the efficacy and effectiveness for cognitive behavioral therapy for a broader range of patients (Arean, Perri, Nezu, Schein, Christopher, Joseph, 1993, p. 1003). To pay for the study, a research career grant will be applied for. The grant will provide “support to develop new knowledge about ways to improve the prevention and/or treatment of substance abuse and/or mental illness, and to work with State and local governments as well as providers, families, and consumers to apply that knowledge effectively in everyday practice” (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2009, p. 1). With these findings in mind, there is an urgency to improve treatment to reduce depression among ethnically diverse older adults. The role that cognitive behavioral therapy plays in geriatric treatment for depression will be investigated. Hypothesis and Theory:

Furthermore, the research suggested that cognitive behavioral therapy intervention can also be a useful approach which supports the ecological perspective. Research Proposal 4
They purposed that cognitive strategies can be utilized to help clients improve their connections with the ecosystem surrounding their social environment. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be successful in treating depressed older adults. Unfortunately, research for depression in older adults is not extensive and further examination is needed to provide solid evidenced based treatment. The following four literature reviews will attempt to demonstrate and support the hypothesis that cognitive behavioral therapy is effective for depression in geriatric patients Review 1:

Satre, Knight and David (2006) proposed that looking at the social context along with cognitive behavioral therapy is an important factor in treating the older individual. The suggested that the goal is to solve problems in "social functioning" by changing how the individual interacted. They explained that environmental factors could often influence the individuals and the therapist should be familiar with all aspects of their client’s lives in order to treat them successfully. They also examined cohort differences, and cognitive changes that come with aging (p. 490). Cohort differences were defined by birth year differences and educational level. The researchers claimed that each generation had differences that could be explained by birth year. They defined cohort...
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