Depression in older adults is a frequent problem that can lead to an increased risk of illness, death and reduced quality of life. A review of 57 studies into the effectiveness of psychotherapy and other behavioural interventions on depressive symptoms in clinically-depressed older adults found that cognitive-behaviour therapy and reminiscence were the best supported by the evidence from trials. Interventions with 7-12 sessions had the best balance between optimizing effectiveness and minimizing drop-out rates. For physically and cognitively-impaired patients modifications in treatment format and/or content might be effective e.g. combining psychotherapy with social work interventions and pharmacotherapy.
Pinquart, M., Duberstein, P.R. and Lyness, J.M. - Effects of psychotherapy and other behavioral interventions on clinically depressed older adults : a meta-analysis Ageing and Mental Health November 2007, 11(6), 645-657