Study: Problem-solving skills cut risk of depression for sight-challenged seniors

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If elderly patients with age-related macular degeneration are taught problem-solving skills, they are less likely to become depressed, new study results suggest.

Researchers at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia studied 206 patients who were at least 65 years of age and were recently diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration in one eye and had pre-existing macular degeneration in the other eye.

The actual incidence of depressive disorders was nearly twice as high for study subjects who were not part of a randomly assigned problem-solving group. Researchers theorized that the problem-solving group suffered less depression because members were less likely to have to give up a valued activity.

The study was reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry.