Dr. Catherine Cross: A feasibility study of a guided self help group intervention to improve the well being of older adults

Dr. Catherine Cross and Ms. Alison Marriott (Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust) worked with the Manchester City Council and Age Concern Manchester to develop a proposal for the RfPB. NIHR RfPB funding was successfully obtained for their study entitled ‘A feasibility study of a guided self help group intervention to improve the well being of older adults’. The study aims to assess whether it is feasible for non-mental health professionals to be trained to effectively deliver a 6 week self help course. The course is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and aims to improve wellbeing and life satisfaction for older adults not currently in contact with mental health services. Older adults generally under utilise mental health services. The project aims to increase accessibility to psychological interventions by embedding the ‘Be Well, Age Well’ course in existing day services.

This focus on wellbeing is in line with recent government guidance which encourages taking a more “positive” approach to mental health. The study will inform future decisions to conduct a large scale project evaluating the efficacy of the ‘Be Well, Age Well’ course. Dr Catherine Cross received advice from the NIHR Research Design Service for the North West on developing the proposal.