Identifying Depression, Empowering Activities for Seniors (Healthy IDEAS)

Citation: Quijano, L., Stanley, M., Petersen, N., Casado, B., Steinberg, E., Cully, J., & Wilson, N. (2007). Healthy IDEAS: A Depression Intervention Delivered by Community-Based Case Managers Serving Older Adults. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 26(2), 139–156.


This study evaluated an evidence-based intervention for depression delivered by case managers in three community-based service agencies to high-risk, diverse older adults. Case managers were trained to provide screening and assessment, education, referral and linkage, and behavioral activation. Outcomes addressed depression, general health status, social and physical activation, and mental health services use at baseline and 6 months. Participants (n = 94) were predominantly women (79%) and Hispanic (44%), with a mean age of 72 years. Mean Geriatric Depression Scale—15 scores differed significantly between baseline and 6 months (9.0 versus 5.5). At 6 months, significantly more participants knew how to get help for depression (68% versus 93%), reported that increasing activity helped them feel better (72% versus 89%), and reported reduced pain (16% versus 45 %). The authors conclude that non-specialty providers can be trained to successfully implement an evidence-based self-management intervention for depression with frail, high-risk, and diverse older adults.