Research In Brief
A Seminar on a Home-based Treatment for Depression in the Elderly and Adults with Epilepsy
Seniors who are socially isolated and in frail health, as well as adults of any age with epilepsy, face challenges that can contribute to depression. On August 12, 2010, Dr. Paul Ciechanowski of the University of Washington’s Prevention Research Center (Health Promotion Research Center) presented results of two CDC-funded studies testing PEARLS (Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives for Seniors), a home-based depression intervention.
PEARLS consists of six to eight sessions delivered in the home by counselors who help the patient recognize symptoms of depression, take specific steps to solve their problems, and engage in pleasurable activities. The counselors consult with primary care providers and psychiatrists as needed. Dr. Ciechanowski described how, in randomized controlled trials, the program reduced depressive symptoms and improved quality of life in seniors and adults with epilepsy. PEARLS is now being disseminated in communities around the nation.
The seminar was a joint effort of the CDC PRC Program and Epilepsy Program.