Part 3: Population-At-Risk and Evidence-Based Intervention Essay

Part 3: Population-At-Risk and Evidence-Based Intervention Essay

Part 3: Population-At-Risk and Evidence-Based Intervention Essay

Late-life depression can be described as the occurrence of major depressive disorder among older adults 60 years and older. According to the United Health Foundation report on America’s Health Rankings, approximately 15% of older adults above the age of 65 were diagnosed with depression in 2020, by a qualified health professional (Chang et al., 2020). Depression among the geriatric population is associated with the increased significance of emotional suffering among this vulnerable population undermining their quality of life and well-being. Unfortunately, most seniors are not getting the necessary help required to manage depression in several states across the United States. This discussion aims to identify the most effective evidence-based practice intervention to help manage depression among the elderly in Maryland.

Literature Review

            Through evidence-based practice, several interventions have been proven to be effective in managing depression among elderly adults. A study conducted by Chang et al. (2020) provides evidence for Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) as one of the most effective interventions in psychosocial, psychological, behavioral, and cognitive domains of older adults diagnosed with depression. Bahtiar et al. (2020), on the other hand, reports a positive outcome with the implementation of the spiritual approach nursing intervention program through deep breathing, dhikr, and music therapy as the most effective way to reduce depression levels among the elderly. Lastly, Meuldijk & Wuthrich, (2019) reports that even though there is still limited evidence supporting stepped care approaches in the management of depression, the intervention is still feasible in older adults especially those living in rural communities.

Appropriate Intervention for Managing Depression among the Elderly in Maryland

Approximately 16.3% of the population in Maryland is made up of older adults 65 years of age and above. Most of these vulnerable populations have reported an incidence of late-life depressive symptoms. As such, the most appropriate evidence-based intervention to adopt in preventing and managing depression among this population in this state is the use of Animal-assisted therapy (AAT). This evidence-based practice approach is associated with qualified, certified healthcare providers and therapists employing the use of their animals or trained animals as part of their therapeutic plan in improving the symptomology and negative emotions among older adults with mental problems such as depression hence promoting their level of well-being. Just as demonstrated by Chang et al. (2020), this approach has proven to be effective in reducing stress levels and emotional suffering among older adults with depression in nursing homes and assisted living facilities among other home-based care settings for the elderly.

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Depression is one of the most common mental problems among older adults above the age of 65 years. Given the deteriorating mental and physical health of this vulnerable population, it is necessary to adopt the most appropriate evidence-based intervention to help manage this problem. In Maryland, the most effective approach to prevent and manage depression among the elderly is the implementation of animal-assisted therapy (AAT). To adopt this approach in my state, the certified therapist or healthcare provider will utilize their own trained animals, in addition to animal-assisted activities, facility animals, emotional support animals, and service animals to reduce stress levels and emotional suffering among elderly patients diagnosed with depressive disorder.


Bahtiar, B., Sahar, J., & Widyatuti, W. (2020). Music, dhikr, and deep breathing technique to decrease depression level in older adults: Evidence-based practice in Depok City, Indonesia. ASEAN Journal of Community Engagement4(2).

Chang, S. J., Lee, J., An, H., Hong, W., & Lee, J. Y. (2020). Animal‐Assisted Therapy as an Intervention for Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta‐Analysis to Guide Evidence‐Based Practice. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing.

Meuldijk, D., & Wuthrich, V. M. (2019). Stepped‐care treatment of anxiety and depression in older adults: A narrative review. Australian Journal of Rural Health27(4), 275–280.


Part 3: Population-At-Risk and Evidence-Based Intervention

Synthesize relevant articles ( 3 ) from the professional literature (peer-reviewed journal and evidence guides*) that describe evidence-based programs/interventions that are appropriate for your public health problem and target population.

From your synthesis, critically examine and reach group consensus on which program(s) will be a good fit for your problem, in Maryland, with your target population and known stakeholders. If relevant, clarify how you adapted the intervention to meet your target population.

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