Background: The prevalence of depression among older people receiving care is high, yet the rate of treatment of this disorder is low. One way to improve the pathway to care is to train care staff to recognize the symptoms of depression and raise their confidence in responding to them. In this study we evaluated the efficacy of the beyondblue Depression Training Program to achieve this aim.
Methods: Staff (N = 148) from low level care facilities and community care facilities in metropolitan Melbourne completed the beyondblue Depression Training Program, while staff in other facilities (N = 96) acted as controls. Pre-program, post-program and follow-up questionnaire data were collected and referrals for depression by staff were recorded.
Results: Training improved carers’ knowledge about depression, their self-efficacy in responding to signs of depression and their attitudes towards working with depressed aged care recipients. In addition, training increased the number of referrals for depression made by carers.
Conclusion: Training aged care staff in depression can improve the pathways to care for depressed care recipients, and has the potential to improve the quality of life of older people.