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Traditional perspectives conceptualize resilience as a trait and depression as resulting from resilience deficiency. However, research indicates that resilience varies substantially even among adults who are clinically depressed, as well as across the lifespan of an individual. Few studies have investigated resilience in depression, and even fewer have examined resilience in depressed older adults.
Three hundred thirty-seven adults ≥60 years with major depressive disorder completed the Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) and measures of mental health, quality of life (QOL), and medical comorbidity. Exploratory factor analysis was used to explore the factor structure of the CD-RISC. Correlations and general linear models were used to examine associations between resilience and other variables.
The rotated component matrix indicated a four-factor model. Sorting of items by highest factor loading revealed constructs associated with (1) grit, (2) active coping self-efficacy, (3) accommodative coping self-efficacy, and (4) spirituality. Resilience was significantly correlated with increased age, lower cognitive functioning, greater cerebrovascular risk, and greater medical comorbidity. Resilience was negatively associated with mental health symptoms (depression, apathy, and anxiety) and positively associated with QOL. The final optimal model identified less depression, less apathy, greater medical comorbidity, higher QOL, and minority (non-White) race as factors that significantly explained variability in resilience.
Resilience was significantly associated with a range of mental health constructs in a sample of older adults with depression. Future clinical trials and dismantling studies may help determine whether interventions targeting grit, active coping, accommodative coping, and spirituality can increase resilience and help prevent and treat depression in older adults.
Global population aging will result in increasing rates of cognitive decline and dementia. Thus, effective, low-cost, and low side-effect interventions for the treatment and prevention of cognitive decline are urgently needed. Our study is the first to investigate the effects of Kundalini yoga (KY) training on mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Older participants (≥55 years of age) with MCI were randomized to either a 12-week KY intervention or memory enhancement training (MET; gold-standard, active control). Cognitive (i.e. memory and executive functioning) and mood (i.e. depression, apathy, and resilience) assessments were administered at baseline, 12 weeks and 24 weeks.
At baseline, 81 participants had no significant baseline group differences in clinical or demographic characteristics. At 12 weeks and 24 weeks, both KY and MET groups showed significant improvement in memory; however, only KY showed significant improvement in executive functioning. Only the KY group showed significant improvement in depressive symptoms and resilience at week 12.
KY group showed short- and long-term improvements in executive functioning as compared to MET, and broader effects on depressed mood and resilience. This observation should be confirmed in future clinical trials of yoga intervention for treatment and prevention of cognitive decline (NCT01983930).
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