Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Robin Whitebird


Social Work


The populations of older adults is growing. Nursing home residents, in particular, are some of the most vulnerable members of society. Depression is more common in nursing home residents than it is in older adults who live in the community. Clinical social workers are trained to be psychotherapists, and it is important for these professionals to know which types of therapy are most effective for nursing home residents with depression. This systematic literature review was designed to sample the most recent research on psychotherapeutic interventions that are effective in addressing depression in nursing home residents. Specific search criteria were chosen along with inclusions and exclusions. For this review, 10 research studies were analyzed. The results fell into four categories of interventions: reminiscence therapy, CBT, BE-ACTIV, and other interventions. The similarities and differences in the studies and the interventions that were tested are discussed. Based on this systematic literature review, reminiscence therapy and CBT are the most effective types of therapy for nursing home residents with depression. The clinical social work practice and policy implications are presented. The limitations of this study are also highlighted along with suggestions for future research in this area.

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Social Work Commons