Abstract

PURPOSE. We tested the effectiveness of an educational intervention in DVD format aimed at strengthening the mental health practices of occupational therapists working with older adults.

METHOD. The DVD intervention was tested in a pretest–posttest design. Occupational therapists (n = 30) completed a brief knowledge and attitude questionnaire; a chart review (n = 383) of therapists’ (n = 20) patients at 3 mo before and 3 mo after DVD training was also conducted.

RESULTS. Questionnaire data showed that the percentage of therapists with correct answers increased 20%–30% for 5 of the 11 knowledge items. Chart review data showed therapists spoke more often with their older patients about mood, depression, and cognitive impairment; screened more often for depression and cognitive impairment; and reported findings more often to the treatment team after training.

CONCLUSION. Educational interventions can significantly improve therapists’ mental health practice with older adults.

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