OBJECTIVE: This report details an extension of the use of
psychoeducational workshops with psychiatric patients and their families to
families of elderly patients with recurrent unipolar late- life depression.
METHODS: Subjects were 132 participants in a study of maintenance therapies
for late-life depression and their 182 family members and significant
others who accepted invitations to single- session family workshops.
Participants provided feedback on their satisfaction with the content and
quality of the workshops. Associations between workshop attendance,
preworkshop demographic and clinical characteristics, treatment adherence,
and outcome were explored through comparisons between 108 patients who
attended workshops and 24 patients who declined the workshop invitation.
RESULTS: Favorable feedback from participants suggested that the extension
of the workshops to families of elderly patients with depression was
successful. Workshop attendance was associated with a lower rate of dropout
during continuation treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Results associating workshop
refusal and treatment dropout, as well as the overall treatment compliance
and retention rates in this randomized clinical trial involving geriatric
patients, support the need for further study of factors relating to elderly
patients' willingness to engage in family-centered interventions.