Effect of a social intervention of choice vs. control on depressive symptoms, melancholy, feeling of loneliness, and perceived togetherness in older Finnish people : a randomized controlled trial
Pynnönen, K., Törmäkangas, T., Rantanen, T., Tiikkainen, P., & Kallinen, M. (2018). Effect of a social intervention of choice vs. control on depressive symptoms, melancholy, feeling of loneliness, and perceived togetherness in older Finnish people : a randomized controlled trial. Aging and Mental Health, 22(1), 77-84. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2016.1232367
Published inAging and Mental Health
© 2018 Taylor & Francis.
Objectives: This study examined effects of a social intervention on depressive symptoms, melancholy, loneliness, and perceived togetherness in community-dwelling Finnish older people. Method: Promotion of mental well-being in older people (GoodMood; ISRCTN78426775) was a single-blinded randomized control trial lasting 1.5 years. Two hundred and twenty-three persons aged 75–79 years reporting symptoms of loneliness or melancholy were randomized into intervention and control groups. The intervention group was allowed to choose among supervised exercise, social activity, or personal counseling. Follow-up measurements were conducted at the end of 6-month intervention, and at 3, 6, and 12 months post intervention. Results: Number of depressive symptoms remained unchanged, while loneliness and melancholy decreased in both the intervention and control groups during the study (p<0.001). Social integration increased in the intervention group but not in controls (p=0.041). Attachment and guidance increased in both groups (p<0.001). Conclusion: The intervention did not alleviate depressed mood. Positive changes over time were observed in loneliness, feelings of melancholy, attachment, and guidance but these occurred independently of the intervention. Our secondary analysis suggests that the intervention increased perceived social integration. In sum, the effects of the intervention were moderate only and did not expedite further overcoming depressive mood or loneliness. ...
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Postdoctoral Researcher, AoF
Additional information about fundingThe GoodMood project was funded by the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health [grant number 059/TEK/TE/2008], [grant number 029/TEK/TE/2009]; Finland's Slot Machine Association. Katja Pynnönen was funded by the Juho Vainio Foundation, Finland; the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Finland; Timo Törmäkangas was funded by the Academy of Finland [grant number 286536].
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