In search of the best evidence for life review therapy to reduce depressive symptoms in older adults: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Gerben J. Westerhof*, Syl Slatman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Life review builds on a naturally occurring process in later life and entails attributing meaning to positive and negative memories across the lifespan. The current meta-analysis focuses on the best evidence of life review as a therapeutic intervention to reduce depressive symptoms in older adults. A systematic literature search resulted in eleven randomized controlled trials. The meta-analysis showed a large effect. When two outliers were removed, the effect size was moderate and was maintained at three months follow-up. Heterogeneity was low with no clear publication bias in spite of differences in interventions and study designs. Hence, the best available evidence shows that life review therapy has moderate effects on depressive symptoms in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12301
JournalClinical Psychology: Science and Practice
Volume26
Issue number4
Early online date19 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • life review
  • meta-analysis
  • older adults
  • therapy
  • depression

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