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

Main Article Content

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


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.

Article Details

Person-centered mental health
Author Biographies

Srijana Shrestha, VA HSR&D Houston Center of Excellence, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

Postdoctoral Associate, Health Services Delivery and Organization, VA HSR&D Houston Center of Excellence

Maria E. A. Armento, VA HSR&D Houston Center of Excellence, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center; Baylor College of Medicine

Postdoctoral Associate, Psychiatry Research

Amber L Bush, VA HSR&D Houston Center of Excellence, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX; Baylor College of Medicine

Instructor, Medicine-Health Services Research

Cashuna Huddleston, University of Houston, Houston, TX

Psychology Graduate Student

Darrell Zeno, VA HSR&D Houston Center of Excellence, Houston, TX

Research Coordinator, Health Services Delivery and Organization

John Paul Jameson, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Gina Evans-Hudnall, VA HSR&D Houston Center of Excellence, Houston, TX; Baylor College of Medicine

Assistant Professor, Health Services Delivery and Organization

Toi Harris, Baylor College of Medicine; Texas Childrens' Hospital

Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine

Kathy Scott-Gurnell, The University of Texas Health Sciences center, Houston, TX

Assistant Professior, Psychiatry

Mark E Kunik, VA HSR&D Houston Center of Excellence, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX; Baylor College of Medicine; VA South Central Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center

Associate Director, VA HSR&D Houston Center of Excellence; Professor, Baylor College of Medicine

Nancy Wilson, VA HSR&D Houston Center of Excellence, Houston, TX, and Baylor College of Medicine

Assistant Professor in Medicine and Geriatrics at Baylor College of Medicine

Melinda A Stanley, VA HSR&D Houston Center of Excellence, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX; Baylor College of Medicine; VA South Central Mental Illness Research, Education and Clnical Center

Professor and Head, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine; Macingvale Family Chair in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Research



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