Abstract Background Anxiety and depression are common among older people, with up to 20% reporting such symptoms, and the prevalence increases with co-morbid chronic physical health problems. Access to treatment for anxiety and depression in this population is poor due to a combination of factors at the level of patient, practitioner and healthcare system. There is evidence to suggest that older people with anxiety and/or depression may benefit both from one-to-one interventions and group social or educational activities, which reduce loneliness, are participatory and offer some activity. Non-traditional providers (support workers) working within third-sector (voluntary) organisations are a valuable source of expertise within the community but are under-utilised by primary care practitioners. Such a resource could increase access to care, and be less stigmatising and more acceptable for older people. Methods The study is in three phases and this paper describes the protocol for phase III, which will evaluate the feasibility of recruiting general practices and patients into the study, and determine whether support workers can deliver the intervention to older people with sufficient fidelity and whether this approach is acceptable to patients, general practitioners and the third-sector providers. Phase III of the NOTEPAD study is a randomised controlled trial (RCT) that is individually randomised. It recruited participants from approximately six general practices in the UK. In total, 100 participants aged 65 years and over who score 10 or more on PHQ9 or GAD7 for anxiety or depression will be recruited and randomised to the intervention or usual general practice care. A mixed methods approach will be used and follow-up will be conducted 12 weeks post-randomisation. Discussion This study will inform the design and methods of a future full-scale RCT. Trial registration ISRCTN, ID: ISRCTN16318986 . Registered 10 November 2016. The ISRCTN registration is in line with the World Health Organization Trial Registration Data Set. The present paper represents the original version of the protocol. Any changes to the protocol will be communicated to ISRCTN.
|Date made available||7 Mar 2018|