The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist

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The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist (2009), 2:75-82 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2009


Cognitive behavioural therapy with older adults: enthusiasm without the evidence?

Philip Wilkinsona1 c1

a1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital Headington, Oxford, UK
Article author query
wilkinson p [Google Scholar]


Cognitive behavioural interventions specifically for older people have been described and researched for the last 30 years. However, despite a robust evidence base to support the use of CBT in the treatment of mental disorders in younger adults, trials with older people have generally been of poor methodological quality. Therefore, the potential of CBT to improve the outcome of late-life mental illness has not yet been adequately tested and demonstrated. The priorities, if this is to happen, are to develop standardized, reproducible CBT interventions and to evaluate these in large trials alongside medication or as part of case-management interventions.

(Received April 20 2008)

(Accepted March 01 2009)

(Online publication April 03 2009)

Key words:CBT; evidence-based practice; older adults


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr P. Wilkinson, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital Headington, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK. (email:

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