Exploring the Efficacy of Cognitive Analytic Therapy in Reducing Anxiety and Depression in Older Adults

Tamsin Williams, Sarah Craven-Staines

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Abstract: The present study aimed to explore the efficacy of Cognitive Analytic Therapy in supporting people aged 65 years or over, and who experienced depression, anxiety, or a combination of the two. There are presently no studies which explore the effects of CAT in supporting older adults who experience mental ill-health. The study used a quantitative, within-subjects, cross-sectional design. The outcome measures data of 28 clients, aged 65 or over, and open to an NHS mental health trust in the North East of England were included in this study. Outcome measure data were collected across two time points: just prior to the commencement of CAT; and once more following therapy completion. The following outcome measures were used: Inventory of Interpersonal Problems 32; Personality Structure Questionnaire, Clinical Outcome in Routine Evaluation Outcome Measure; Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation 10; and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. T-tests showed a significant reduction in scores across all of the measures used post-therapy (p<0.05). Effect sizes across all outcome measures used were high (d≥ 0.59). Chi-squared analyses were used by way of exploring the efficacy of CAT in affecting a clinically significant change; both anxiety and depression scores significantly fell to below the clinical cut-off using the HADS outcome data (p<0.001). In this sole study focusing on CAT in older adults, the findings demonstrate that CAT is significantly effective in reducing anxiety and depression in this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-177
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of CAT & RMH
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


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