Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Prevent Major Depression In Older Adults With Insomnia

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Mental Health News – Study has found that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT-I) prevented major depression, decreasing the likelihood of depression by over 50%, compared to sleep education therapy in adults over the age of 60 with insomnia.

In a new study, researchers at the University of California analyzed 291 adults (60 years and older) with insomnia but who had not experienced any depression for 12 months or longer. They randomly assigned half of the group to receive CBT-I by a trained psychologist and the other half to receive sleep education therapy (SET) from a public health educator.

The adults completed monthly questionnaires to screen for symptoms of depression and/or insomnia over the course of 36 months of follow-up. They were also diagnostically interviewed every six months to determine whether an episode of clinical depression had occurred.

According to the study findings, 25.9% of the older adults in the SET control group experienced depression during follow-up. Additionally, depression occurred in only 12.2% of older adults in the CBT-I group. The researchers also observed a 51% reduction in the risk of depression with CBT-I treatment. The research result showed remission of insomnia that was continuously sustained during follow-up was more likely in the CBT-I group as compared to SET.

As per the study, CBT-I treatment provided significant benefits to prevent incidents and recurrent major depressive disorder in older adults with insomnia, and that it did so by treating insomnia (a known risk factor for depression).

“Treatment of insomnia, along with prevention of depression, taken together, could have huge public health implications in reducing health risks, suicide, and cognitive decline in older adults,” said Dr. Michael Irwin, lead author of the study.

To Know More You May Refer To:

Irwin, M. R., Carrillo, C., Sadeghi, N., Bjurstrom, M. F., Breen, E. C., & Olmstead, R. (2021). Prevention of incident and recurrent major depression in older adults with insomnia. JAMA Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.3422

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