Date of Award


Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Committee Chair

Mark Reynolds


Depression (Mental)--Alternative treatment, Older people--Mental health, Psychotherapy for older people


The purpose of this project was to determine the effectiveness of life review therapy to alleviate depressive symptoms in older adults living in nursing home settings. While depression is common in older adults, it is surmised that older adults living in nursing homes have a higher risk for depression secondary to loss of independence, social isolation, and a perceived near end in personal, life goals. Furthermore, unresolved life conflicts and inner turmoil have been attributed to many root causes of unrest and depressive symptoms as people age. While pharmacological therapies are mainstays for depression in all ages, they can result in unwanted and dangerous side effects, especially in older adults. Life review provides an opportunity to re-visit and re-evaluate a person’s life with the goal of identifying and resolving fragmented stages of development which have likely contributed to one’s depressed state. This quality improvement project consisted of a pretest/posttest design of 15 adults living in a nursing home setting using the Geriatric Depression Scale 8. After 10 weeks of Life Review therapy, pretest and posttest score means demonstrated an improvement in depressive symptoms, suggesting Life Review therapy is an alternate treatment for depression in nursing home settings.



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