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Over the past several decades, the number of older adults has grown at an unprecedented rate. As the number of older adults continues to increase with the aging of the baby boom generation, it is essential that social workers have knowledge of effective strategies for promoting quality of life and treating later-life mental health disorders among older adults and their family members. In order to promote such knowledge, this article reviews the outcomes research literature related to individual and group treatments for older adults and their familial caregivers. Empirically based research studies published between 1985 and the present were examined for this review. Results indicate an emerging evidence base of efficacious psychosocial interventions for older individuals and their families. Most consistent support was found for treatments employing cognitive-behavioral, problem-solving, and reminiscence therapies. Many gaps do exist in the literature, however, and replication studies are needed. Implications are discussed.


Published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work. Copyright © 2004 Haworth Press.

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