The number of older adults is rising sharply and is expected to increase from 40.3 million to 72.1 million between 2010 and 2030. According to the Pew Research Center, 92% of adults aged 65 and older use text messaging. Despite misconceptions to the contrary, text messaging as part of primary care for older adults is growing. Text messaging holds promise as a strategy for engaging older adults in Collaborative Care depression treatment through frequent contact with a behavioral health care manager.
Many older adults are reluctant to seek depression treatment yet may participate in community-based programs or have close relationships with family and friends. This project explores different ways of engaging older adults in the treatment of depression.
In the largest treatment trial for depression to date, a team of researchers led by Dr. Jürgen Unützer followed 1,801 depressed, older adults from 18 diverse primary care clinics across the United States for two years.
DIAMOND was a collaborative effort of 9 health plans, 25 medical groups, and over 80 primary care clinics in Minnesota to implement and study Collaborative Care for depression.
This research project combined Collaborative Care with an existing diabetes care management program for low income, predominantly Spanish-speaking Latinx populations.
When hurricanes Katrina and Rita devasted New Orleans, the AIMS Center worked on a Red Cross funded initiative to rebuild the primary care system to include Collaborative Care. The project enhanced the availability of evidence-based mental health services to uninsured, disadvantaged, and minority community members offered through REACH NOLA’s Mental Health Infrastructure and Training Project. It also showed the benefits of integrated mental health care after disasters, particularly for depression and post-tr