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Pilot Findings from a Community-based Treatment Program for Late-Life Anxiety

Srijana Shrestha, Maria E. A. Armento, Amber L Bush, Cashuna Huddleston, Darrell Zeno, John Paul Jameson, Gina Evans-Hudnall, Toi Harris, Kathy Scott-Gurnell, Mark E Kunik, Nancy Wilson, Melinda A Stanley

Abstract


Traditional late-life anxiety treatments have a poor track record in terms of reaching minorities that face significant disparities in accessing appropriate treatment. Existing literature lacks evidence on treatments that effectively reduce anxiety in African American elders. Calmer Life is a 3-month treatment for anxiety, designed to address barriers to care faced by African American seniors living in underserved neighborhoods. To increase the reach and outcomes of a skills-based cognitive behavioral approach, an intervention, Calmer Life, was developed that includes cultural and individual tailoring in treatment content and delivery. Participants choose from a variety of options that integrate religious/spiritual themes into skills-based coping; receiving treatment in their homes, at community sites or by telephone; choosing the number of sessions they want to complete; and deciding which skills to learn, based on individual needs. Preliminary data from nine participants show reductions in worry, anxiety and depressive symptoms and 100% retention of all participants at post-treatment. Participants reported a high level of satisfaction with the program and its unique aspects.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5750/ijpcm.v2i3.130

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