Teaching and practicing cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness skills in a web-based platform among older adults through the COVID-19 pandemic: A pilot randomized controlled trial

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4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an acceleration in the development of web-based interventions to alleviate related mental health impacts. The current study explored the effects of a short-term digital group intervention aimed at providing cognitive behavioral and mindfulness tools and skills to reduce loneliness and depression and to increase social support among older adults in Israel. This pilot randomized controlled trial included community-dwelling older adults (n = 82; aged between 65–90 years; 80% female) who were randomized either to an intervention group (n = 64) or a wait-list control group (n = 18). The intervention included seven online sessions, over 3.5 weeks. Depression, loneliness, and social support measures were administered at baseline, immediately post-intervention, and at 1-month follow-up. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed statistically and clinically significant reductions in depression in the intervention group, with results maintained at one-month follow-up. Loneliness levels also significantly decreased post-intervention; however, this benefit was not maintained at one-month follow-up. Social support slightly increased both post-intervention and 1-month follow-up—but these changes were not statistically significant. There were no overall changes for the wait-list control group. Our intervention provided promising evidence regarding the effectiveness of an online group intervention to alleviate mental health effects and to promote the coping of older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. This relatively simple model can be effectively utilized by communities globally to help connect lonely and isolated older inhabitants, both during the pandemic and in more routine times.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10563
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Social support
  • Web-based group intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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