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Problem solving therapy for the treatment of depression for a patient with Parkinson's disease and mild cognitive impairment: a case study

Authors R Scott Mackin, Patricia Areán, Alexandra Elite-Marcandonatou

Published 15 September 2006 Volume 2006:2(3) Pages 375—379

R Scott Mackin, Patricia Areán, Alexandra Elite-Marcandonatou


Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA


Abstract: The present investigation reports on the use of problem solving therapy (PST) to treat depression in an 83-year-old woman with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and concurrent mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A neuropsychological evaluation was conducted prior to the intervention and the patient demonstrated mild deficits of executive functioning and memory. The PST treatment consisted of 12 one-hour sessions that occurred weekly. Depressive symptoms were evaluated using the Hamilton Depression Rating scale and the Montgomery-Asberg Depression rating scale. At a post-treatment assessment (week 12), clinician assessment indicated that the client no longer met criteria for MDD. Weekly depression severity ratings showed significant reduction in severity of depressive symptoms over 12 weeks. Results at 1-month and 6-month follow-up demonstrated that the therapeutic gains were not only maintained, but that the client continued to improve. These results suggest that PST may bean effective treatment for the treatment of depression for individuals with PD and concurrent MCI.


Keywords: problem solving therapy, psychotherapy, mild cognitive impairment, executive dysfunction, memory, Parkinson’s disease, depression, geriatric