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As it is uncertain whether psychological treatments for depressive symptoms are effective in elderly inpatients with significant medical comorbidity, we aimed to assess the treatment effectiveness not only on depressive symptoms but also on somatic symptoms in these inpatients.
We performed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies assessing the effects of psychological treatments in Chinese older inpatients with significant medical comorbidity based upon extensive searches of the most comprehensive computerized Chinese academic database.
The overall effect size for depressive symptoms of twelve studies which compared psychological treatments with a care-as-usual control group was d = 0.80 (95% Confidence Intervals (CI) = 0.60-0.99; p < 0.001). The relative risk of psychological intervention of being effective or not, compared to control condition, was 1.52 (95% CI = 1.25-1.85; p < 0.001).
We conclude that psychological treatments of depressive symptoms are effective for Chinese elderly inpatients with significant medical comorbidity which should receive more attention in medical settings.