Title

The Efficacy of Group Psychotherapy for Older Adult Clients: A Meta-Analysis

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-2008

Department

Psychology

Abstract

This review examined the effectiveness of group psychotherapy for older (55+) adults. Results from 44 studies with pre-post designs and 27 controlled studies indicated that group psychotherapy benefits older adults, with average rs of .42 and .24 for pre-post and controlled designs, respectively. The type of therapy provided and the age of the clients were associated with pretreatment to posttreatment improvement. Clients in cognitive-behavioral group therapy improved more than those receiving reminiscence therapy. The older the average age of the group members, the less they benefited from therapy. Number of sessions attended, length of therapy sessions, the percentage of women in the group, and client living situation were not significant moderators of outcome. Overall, group interventions for older adults appear to be effective and the average effect size for pre-post studies was quite similar to those yielded by meta-analyses of group therapy with younger adults and adolescents. However, the average effect size for controlled studies of group therapy with older adults appears to be somewhat smaller than the values reported in meta-analyses with younger clients.

Publication Title

Group Dynamics

Volume

12

Issue

4

First Page

268

Last Page

278