The Gould Research Lab focuses on developing and refining technology-delivered interventions for older adults with mental health problems.
Approximately one in seven Americans and one in two Veterans are aged 65 years or older. Mental health disorders afflict approximately 14-20% of these individuals, but we do not have enough trained geriatric psychiatrists or other mental health professionals to deliver evidence-based treatments to these older adults (Institute of Medicine, 2012).
Technology can fill a critical role in providing scalable treatments that could be implemented in a variety of settings to address late-life mental health disorders including anxiety disorders, depression, and sleep disorders.
Our research has demonstrated that older adults are interested in using technology and many use technology, but they may need instructional support. In our studies, we aim to provide the structure needed by many older adults to be able to use technology successfully.
Dr. Gould’s ongoing and completed research funded by a Brain and Behavior Research Foundation NARSAD award and a VA Career Development Award, includes a completed a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a video-delivered relaxation treatment, completed mixed methods study tailoring a treatment for older Veterans, an in-depth interview study about Veterans’ technology preferences, and a RCT of the tailored video-delivered treatment with older Veterans.
We take an individualized approach to usability testing and evaluation of these programs including behavioral observations of older adults using the technology and obtaining extensive qualitative feedback and quantitative ratings.
Future research will focus on developing interactive internet-based platforms to deliver interventions and to facilitate behavioral and technological coaching support. These eHealth platforms can allow for more personalized treatments that may be able to be tailored to match patient preferences.