Principal Investigator(s): Andrada Neacsiu, Ph.D., Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Katherine Ramos, PhD, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Adapting the Unified Protocol to Facilitate Activity in Older Adults

Research suggests older adults report wide-ranging emotional distress (e.g., symptoms of anxiety, depression) that negatively impacts their physical and mental health, and is associated with a reduction in daily activity. The overarching goal of this proposal is to adapt an existing evidence-based intervention, the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (UP), to increase activity in older adults by reducing emotional distress. The primary aim of the proposed study is to adapt a 5-session version of the UP for use with older adults reporting emotional distress and reduced engagement in daily activities, and to also develop a self-guided version of this intervention.

This aim will be accomplished in two phases. In Phase 1, patient will receive the UP as written via telehealth. At the end of treatment they will provide feedback on the treatment, including any suggested changes as well as provide suggestions for changing the treatment that might allow an individual to successfully complete it on their own. This information will be used to iteratively change the treatment and develop a self-guided version of the treatment.

In Phase 2, we will compare the therapist-delivered and self-guided version of treatment to see if patients find them acceptable. In this phase, patients will be randomized to receive one of these two treatments.