01/05/2022 Medicine Psychology
DOI: 10.1016/j.jagp.2022.05.009 SemanticScholar ID: 248902667

Behavioral Activation in Nursing Homes to Treat Depression (BAN-Dep): Results From a Clustered, Randomized, Single-Blinded, Controlled Clinical Trial.

Publication Summary



To determine if behavioural activation (BA) delivered by trained staff decreases prevalence of clinically significant symptoms of depression among older adults living in residential aged care facilities (RACFs).


Clustered, randomised, single-blinded, controlled trial of BA for adults aged over 60 years living permanently in a RACF with symptoms of depression (Patient Health Questionnaire, PHQ-9 ≥ 5). BA was delivered over 8-12 weeks using a structured workbook. The proportion of residents with PHQ-9 ≥ 10 at weeks 12, 26 and 52, as well as anxiety symptoms (GAD-7), physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) quality of life, loneliness, and loss to follow-up were main outcomes of interest


We recruited 54 RACFs (26 intervention) and 188 of their residents (89 intervention). Participants were aged 61-100 years and 132 (70.2%) were women. PHQ-9 ≥ 10 interacted with BA at week 12 (OR=0.34, 95%CI=0.11-1.07), but differences between the groups were not statistically significant at any time-point. GAD-7 ≥ 10 interacted with BA at week 26 (OR=0.12, 95%CI=0.02-0.58), but not at any other time-point. Overall, the intervention had no effect on the scores of the PHQ-9, GAD-7, PCS, MCS, and loneliness scale. Loss to follow-up was similar between groups. Adherence to all stages of the intervention was poor (36.2%).


Disruption by the COVID-19 pandemic and staffing issues in RACFs undermined recruitment and adherence. In such a context, a BA program delivered by RACF staff was not associated with better mental health outcomes for residents over 52 weeks.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Simon Gilbody

Prof. Simon Gilbody

University of York - Director of the Mental Health and Addictions Research Group

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