Depression and Anxiety in Older Adults

Much of my early research focused on depression and anxiety in older adults, including depression in Alzheimer disease caregivers, suicidality in older African-Americans, depression and anxiety in older adult psychiatric outpatients, and chronic benzodiazepine use in older primary care patients. This work included my master’s thesis, doctoral dissertation, and first National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) grant. This research was important in documenting not only the occurrence of depression and anxiety in these particular populations but also the variables that were uniquely associated with each. 

••••••••••••••••

Cook, Ahrens, & Pearson. (1995). Attributions and depression in Alzheimer Disease caregivers.

Cook, Pearson, Thompson, Black, & Rabins. (2002). Suicidality in older African-Americans: Findings from the EPOCH study.  

Cook, Orvaschel, Simco, Hersen, & Joiner. (2004). A test of the tripartite model of depression and anxiety in older adult psychiatric outpatients.

Cook, Marshall, Masci, & Coyne. (2007). Physicians’ perspectives on prescribing benzodiazepines for older adults: A qualitative study.


Older Adult Trauma Survivors

A significant amount of my research and related publications focus specifically on the prevalence, phenomenology, assessment and treatment of older adult trauma survivors. In addition to conducting original quantitative and qualitative research on this population, I have completed systematic reviews of the literature on several older traumatized subgroups including older adults who experienced natural and man-made disasters, and older women who have been sexually or physically assaulted across the lifespan. This work has documented how trauma experienced early in life can continue to have devastating mental and physical health problems in older adults decades later and how traumatic stress related disorders can be reliably assessed and effectively treated.

••••••••••••••••

Cook, Ruzek, & Cassidy. (2003). Possible association of posttraumatic stress disorder with cognitive impairment among older adults.

Cook, Riggs, Thompson, Coyne, & Sheikh. (2004). Post-traumatic stress disorder and current relationship functioning of WWII ex-prisoners of war.

Cook, Pilver, Dinnen, Schnurr, & Hoff. (2013). Prevalence of physical and sexual assault and mental health disorders in older women: Findings from a nationally representative sample.

Dinnen, Simiola, & Cook. (2015). Trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in older adults: A systematic review of the psychotherapy treatment literature.


Dissemination and Implementation

A large part of my programmatic research portfolio has examined the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based psychotherapies, particularly those for trauma survivors with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Three of my four NIMH grants have focused on this topic and have resulted in evidence-based recommendations on how to overcome barriers to achieving effective treatments in the community.

••••••••••••••••

Cook, Schnurr, Biyanova, & Coyne. (2009). Apples don’t fall far from the trees: An internet survey of influences on psychotherapists’ adoption and sustained use of new therapies.

Cook, O’Donnell, Dinnen, Coyne, Ruzek, & Schnurr. (2012). Measurement of a model of implementation for health care: Advancement toward a testable theory.

Cook, Dinnen, Coyne, Thompson, Simiola, & Schnurr. (2015).  Evaluation of an implementation model: A national investigation of VA residential programs.

Cook, Thompson, & Schnurr. (2015). Perceived characteristics of intervention scale: Development and psychometric properties.


Clinical Training and Work with Trauma Survivors

Relatedly a part of my professional efforts have involved understanding how health care providers clinically work with trauma survivors. My group and I spearheaded a national consensus conference to articulate key knowledge, attitudes and skills that providers working with traumatized populations must have from a competency perspective. These are broad based and include not only evidence-based treatments but basic science information on traumatic stress, ethical issues and diversity effects.

••••••••••••••••

Cook, Dinnen, Rehman, Bufka, & Courtois. (2011). Responses of a sample of practicing psychologists to questions about clinical work with trauma and interest in specialized training.

Cook, Newman, & the New Haven Trauma Competency Work Group. (2014). A consensus statement on trauma mental health: The New Haven Competency Conference process and major findings.

Cook, Dinnen, Simiola, Thompson, & Schnurr. (2014). VA residential provider perceptions of dissuading factors to the use of two evidence-based PTSD treatments