Staff-focused interventions to increase referrals for depression in aged care facilities: a cluster randomized controlled trial

Davison, Tanya E., Karantzas, Gery, Mellor, David, McCabe, Marita P. and Mrkic, Dejan 2013, Staff-focused interventions to increase referrals for depression in aged care facilities: a cluster randomized controlled trial, Aging & Mental Health, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 449-455.

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Title Staff-focused interventions to increase referrals for depression in aged care facilities: a cluster randomized controlled trial
Author(s) Davison, Tanya E.
Karantzas, Gery
Mellor, David
McCabe, Marita P.
Mrkic, Dejan
Journal name Aging & Mental Health
Volume number 17
Issue number 4
Start page 449
End page 455
Total pages 7
Publisher Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1360-7863
1364-6915
Keyword(s) depression
long-term care
screening
assessment
staff training
treatment
Summary Objective
While there is evidence that depression training can improve the knowledge of staff in residential care facilities, there is an absence of research determining whether such training translates into practice change. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of staff training and the introduction of a protocol for routine screening and referral for depression on the numbers of residents detected and referred by care staff for further assessment.

Method:
A cluster randomized controlled design was used to compare the referral rates for residents in seven facilities randomly allocated into one of three conditions: staff training, staff training plus a screening and referral protocol and wait-list control. Participants were 216 aged care residents (M age = 87 years), who agreed to a 12-month audit of their facility file.

Results:
Staff training on its own did not increase the rate of referrals for depression; however, staff training plus the screening protocol and referral guidelines did lead to a significant increase in the number of residents who were referred to a medical practitioner for further assessment. However, this increase in care staff referrals did not result in substantial changes in the treatment prescribed for residents.

Conclusion:
Staff training in depression, supplemented with a protocol for routine screening and guidelines on referring residents, can improve pathways to care. However, strategies to overcome barriers to appropriate subsequent treatment of depression are required for staff-focused initiatives to translate into better outcomes for depressed older adults. Methodological limitations of this study are discussed.
Language eng
Field of Research 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30056682

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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Created: Thu, 10 Oct 2013, 08:52:48 EST by Jane Moschetti

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