Changing Minds – Supporting Depressed Elderly People With an Individually Tailored Service Model


Depression is one of the leading causes of emotional suffering in later life. It has been estimated that 2-5% of community-dwelling elderly people suffer from major depression, but according to recent studies, as much as 25 % have clinically significant depressive symptoms.Typically, depressive symptoms in the elderly are treated solely with antidepressants. The aim of this project is to study the effects of a comprehensive psychosocial intervention on the psychological well-being, quality of life and use of services in depressed elderly people. In addition, the processes of intervention are studied from the perspective of the participants as well as the service system. The research is conducted in collaboration with the city of Espoo. The design of the study combines clinical trial with qualitative process analysis.

Full Title of Study: “Changing Minds – Studying the Effects of a Tailored Psychosocial Support Model on Depressive Mood and Quality of Life in Depressive Elderly People”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Non-Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: April 2010


  • Behavioral: Comprehensive psychosocial support for depressed elderly
    • The model includes a psychiatric nurse as a care manager, a multiprofessional team with a physiotherapist, psychologist and psychiatrist. Each participant receives individually tailored services such as therapeutic groups, conversation groups, physical exercise, music therapy, art therapy and nutritional counseling

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Counseling

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Alleviating depressive symptoms measured with Geriatric Depression Scale
    • Time Frame: base line, 6 months, 1 year

Secondary Measures

  • Quality of life measured with WHO QuolBref
    • Time Frame: base line, 6 months, 1 year

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • age 60+ Exclusion Criteria:

  • severe memory disease

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 60 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Central Union for the Welfare of the Aged
  • Collaborator
    • University of Eastern Finland
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Marja Saarenheimo, Senior researcher, Central Union for the Welfare of the Aged
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Marja K Saarenheimo, PhD, Study Director, Central Union for the Welfare of the Aged
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Marja K Saarenheimo, PhD, +358 50 367 6742,

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