An intervention to improve the health of people 60 years and older
This study describes a two-group randomized controlled trial that assessed the effect of a writing intervention, Life Story Workshop, on the perceived health and depression status of people over 60 years of age. A sample of 33 people who met study criteria and signed informed consent were enrolled into the study. The Short Form-12 Health Survey Questionnaire, Physical and Mental Components, was used to assess perceived health. The depression subscale of the Brief Symptom Inventory 18 assessed depression status. Both questionnaires were administered by the researcher before and at the conclusion of the workshop. Participants randomized to the experimental group attended 10, 2-hour, weekly workshops where they were invited to write and share stories about their lives. Mean scores were calculated for the Physical and the Mental Components of the Short Form-12 and the depression subscale of the Brief Symptom Inventory 18. Mean scores were tested using analysis of co-variance (ANCOVA), analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Welch's t test respectively. No significant difference was found in the mean scores of the writing group's perceived health and depression status compared to the control group at the conclusion of the intervention.