The purpose of the study was to develop an integrated prevention program to strengthen elders self-care capability and to examine its effectiveness on their psychological condition. This study used one group pre- and post-test design. Subjects were 85 elderly residents (over 65 years of age) who lived alone, and received free basic medical care and social welfare services in a rural community in Korea. Subject eligibility criteria for this study were to an elders who 1) is not currently taking any anti-depressant medication 2) is able to communicate, and 3) agrees to participate in this study. The integrated program was composed of horticulture, reminiscence, and friendship activities. Twelve sessions were provided for 12 weeks in community-based partnerships to achieve better outcomes. The intervention was case-managed by a public health nurse and aided by six volunteers. The main outcome variable was depression, which was assessed by using 15 items selected from the Geriatric Depression Scale-short form Korean version. Socio-demographic characteristics, functional status, and satisfaction with social support were used as covariates. Results showed that there was a significant intervention effect at post-intervention time point compared to pre-intervention time point(E.S. 0.94). Multiple linear regression analysis showed significant interaction effects between intervention and satisfaction with social support. These findings must be interpreted within the context that an effects of an integrated program could be more synergistically increased when social support factor is considered in the program. A community-based integrated prevention program of depression is effective for vulnerable rural elderly. It is suggested that randomized controlled trials within community setting for better methodological strength as well as multi-level outcomes on community need to be conducted in future.
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