The relationship between homework compliance and treatment outcomes among older adult outpatients with mild-to-moderate depression

David Coon, Larry W. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors extend previous research on homework in psychotherapy by examining the relationship between homework compliance and therapeutic outcome among depressed older adult outpatients (N = 63), addressing previous limitations by using session-by-session therapist ratings of homework compliance and including both interviewer ratings and patient self-reports of outcomes. Methods: Patients were participants in a randomized clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of desipramine versus cognitivel/behavioral therapy-alone (C/B-Alone) versus a combination of the two (Combined). Given the current study's focus on homework compliance, only patients assigned to conditions with assigned homework in the clinical trial (i.e., C/B-Alone and Combined conditions) were included. Results: Results of hierarchical regression analyses indicated that homework compliance contributed significantly to posttreatment outcome as measured by both interviewer-administered and patient self-report measures of depression. A separate series of ANOVAs also found significant differences in pre-posttreatment change between patients scoring above and below the median of reported homework compliance. Findings were similar for patients in the C/B-Alone and Combined conditions. Conclusion: The study's results call for additional research on issues related to homework compliance with older adult patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-61
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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