Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Feature Article 

A Psychoeducational Codependency Support Group for Older Adults Who Reside in the Community: Friends Supporting Friends

Gloria J. McInnis-Perry, DNSc, RN, CNS, CPMHN; Jim M. Good, BA, PAC

Abstract

Older adults with loved ones who are dependent on alcohol or drugs often experience the adverse effects of a codependent relationship. Many experience anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, and suicidal thoughts. A pilot psychoeducational codependency support group was developed to promote well-being and reduce the adverse effects of codependency among older persons. The study participants were a voluntary convenience sample of 22 older adults (ages 65 and older) residing in the community. A pretest and posttest were administered. Six 90-minute group sessions based on a curriculum developed by the authors were held during a 2-month period. Yalom’s Therapeutic Factors were used to evaluate the group process. Results indicated that older adults benefit from a psychoeducational support group format and that codependency issues can be reduced.

Abstract

Older adults with loved ones who are dependent on alcohol or drugs often experience the adverse effects of a codependent relationship. Many experience anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, and suicidal thoughts. A pilot psychoeducational codependency support group was developed to promote well-being and reduce the adverse effects of codependency among older persons. The study participants were a voluntary convenience sample of 22 older adults (ages 65 and older) residing in the community. A pretest and posttest were administered. Six 90-minute group sessions based on a curriculum developed by the authors were held during a 2-month period. Yalom’s Therapeutic Factors were used to evaluate the group process. Results indicated that older adults benefit from a psychoeducational support group format and that codependency issues can be reduced.

Authors

At the time this article was written, Dr. McInnis-Perry was Director of Senior Mental Health Programs, Hillsborough Hospital, Department of Health-Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Dr. McInnis-Perry is currently Director of Senior Mental Health Programs, Community Hospitals and Continuing Care, Department of Health-Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, and Mr. Good is Family Counselor, Provincial Addictions Centre, Mt. Herbert, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Address correspondence to Gloria J. McInnis-Perry, Director of Senior Mental Health Programs, Community Hospitals and Continuing Care, Department of Health-Prince Edward Island, 200 Beach Grove Road, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada C1E 1L3.

10.3928/00989134-20060801-06

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