Chulalongkorn Medical Journal


Background : Depression is a common health problem among the elderly. If it is untreated, depression could cause long-term adverse effects on lives of individuals and families. If further assistance is provided, it will be beneficial to the elderly, wherein psychotherapy is a choice. As art therapy is a form of psychotherapy, art is a therapy tool for rehabilitation to improve emotion and mind, and to relieve the anxiety and sadness, and it is a choice for reducing depression among the elderly. Objective : To compare levels of depression among the elderly with non severe depression in the experimental group before and after art therapy; and to compare levels of depression among the elderly with non severe depression between the experimental group and the control group. Before the experiment, both groups had mild to moderate depression. Design : Experimental research, before – after experiment with one control group. Setting : Thampakorn Chiangmai Social Welfare Development Center for the Elderly, Department of Social Development and Welfare, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. Sample and Methods : Eighty-five elderly at Thampakorn home were screened by using Thai Geriatric Depression Scale (TGDS). The elderly with mild to moderate depression according to a score of 13 - 24 on the TGDS were enrolled to the study. The samples of 22 were randomized by systematic random sampling and assigned to an experimental group that received art therapy for 10 sessions in 5 weeks and the control group that participated in usual activity programs at the center. This study used the general information questionnaire and Thai Geriatric Depression Scale (TGDS) to assess the depression level on both groups which were before and after the experiment. The data were analyzed by using the SPSS including frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation, Fisher’s exact test, Wilcoxon signed rank test and Mann-Whitney test. Results : After receiving art therapy the elderly in the experimental group had significantly lower the mean depression score than before the experiment (P <0.01) and lower than did the control group (P <0.01). Conclusion : The elderly with mild to moderate depression had lower depression after receiving art therapy. Art therapy appears to reduce the levels of depression in the elderly with mild to moderate depression that may be beneficial for improving mental health and use for activity in the elderly.



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