Non-pharmacological depression therapies for older Chinese adults: A systematic review & meta-analysis.

Author: Gill BK1, Cant R2, Lam L2, Cooper S2, Lou VWQ3
1School of Nursing and Health Studies, The Open University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Electronic address:
2School of Nursing and Healthcare Professions, Federation University, Victoria, Australia.
3School of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; Sau Po Centre on Ageing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
Conference/Journal: Arch Gerontol Geriatr.
Date published: 2020 Feb 25
Other: Volume ID: 88 , Pages: 104037 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2020.104037. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 263

PURPOSE: To conduct a systematic review of randomized controlled trials to evaluate the evidence for the use of non-pharmacological depression therapies in older Chinese adults.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The population was individuals of Chinese extraction over the age of 60 who meet the criteria for depression. The review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA). Six healthcare databases were systematically searched for publications to the end date July 2018. Included study variables were extracted and methodological quality assessments were performed. Ten studies reported sufficient data for meta-analysis.

RESULTS: Fifteen experimental and quasi-experimental studies fulfilled the selection criteria (N = 904 participants). Twelve studies provided sufficient data to evaluate the therapies using Effect Size (ES) (Cohen'sd); ranged from low to high. In the Qigong studies ES varied d = 0.31-0.81, Reminiscence d = 0.20-2.37, and for single studies of Tai Chi d = 1.7 and for Life Story d = 1.46. From the meta-analyses, Qigong was the only treatment that had a significant effect on the severity of depression (Z = -4.47, p < 0.01) with acceptable statistical heterogeneity between studies (I2 = 52 %).

CONCLUSION: Overall, there was a large methodological heterogeneity between studies attributed to differing treatments, duration and designs. Reminiscence and Life Story showed an overall effect from a range of measures, as did the exercise therapies Qigong and Tai Chi. Qigong was the only therapy having a significant effect on depression. This therapy may be useful to alleviate depression due to the group and social interaction.

Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS: Chinese older adult; Depression; Health outcome; Non-pharmacological therapy; Systematic review

PMID: 32135393 DOI: 10.1016/j.archger.2020.104037