Promoting the mental health of elderly people with physical disabilities: a systematic review of available home and facility-based interventions

By Stéphanie Meynet, Marine Beaudoin, Annique Smedig

Introduction: Promoting the mental health of vulnerable elderly patients is a public health priority.
Context: In many cases, mental health interventions for elderly people are not appropriate for those with multiple physical disabilities.
Objectives: This article aims to provide gerontology professionals with an overview of the types of interventions available based on their practice setting (home or long-term care facility) and the characteristics of the people who use them (over 75 years old with physical disabilities).
Method: A systematic literature review was conducted using the PsycInfo, PubMed, and Cochrane databases, using data ranging from 2001-2022. All interventions aimed at addressing mental health issues were included, regardless of their research methodology.
Results: A total of 18 studies were included in this systematic review. The methodological limitations of these studies had a negative impact on our ability to draw conclusions and generalizations about the results of this review. However, the social and psychological support interventions studied seem to hold much promise.
Discussion: The provision of personalized support seems to be an important factor in determining the success of an intervention, whether at home or in a long-stay facility.
Conclusion: Further studies are needed to provide evidence of the effectiveness of these interventions.

  • vulnerable elderly patients
  • interventions
  • mental health
  • home care
  • care facility
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