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Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Date data sharing statement initially provided
Date results information initially provided
Type of registration
Retrospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Pleasant activities for well-being (PAW): Behavioural Activation in Residential Aged Care
Scientific title
Pleasant activities for well-being (PAW): Behavioural activation for older adults with depressive symptoms living in residential aged care
Secondary ID [1] 298201 0
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
Depressive symptoms 312789 0
Condition category
Condition code
Mental Health 311287 311287 0 0

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
The behavioral activation intervention consisted of eight hours of face-to-face contact between resident participant and volunteer delivered over the course of 8 weeks. Sessions occurred in either one hour or 30 minute blocks, totaling one hour of contact per week. A buffer of up to three weeks was provided, should sessions need to be rescheduled e.g. to illness. Volunteers delivered the intervention to their assigned resident on site at the resident’s aged care facility.

Volunteers were required to attend two half-day training workshops delivered by a clinical psychologist prior to participating in the study. The training consisted of didadic material relating to behavioural activation and depression. It also included interactive role-plays, where volunteers practiced their behavioural activation skills. Volunteers also received weekly supervision phone calls from a member of the research team to support them in their delivery of behavioural activation.

The structure of each behavioural activation session is as follows:
1. Review Homework: Review resident’s activity schedule from the previous week. Discuss any problems or issues that arose while using the activity schedule.
2. Help resident to notice links between their behaviour and their mood: Using the activity schedule, volunteers inquired about any links that the resident noticed between their activities and mood.

3. Introduce and explore weekly theme: Volunteers were provided with trail specific resources for six domains of pleasant activities: Physical activity, relaxation, creativity, kindness, relationships and savouring. From weeks 3-8, volunteers were invited to introduce one of these themes to the resident, and explore a suitable activity relating to the theme that could be scheduled for the week ahead.

4. Activity scheduling for the week ahead: From weeks two onward, volunteers worked with the resident to plan pleasant activities for the week ahead using an activity scheduling sheet.

Adherence was measured through weekly phone calls with a member of the research team (to ensure at least one weekly visit had taken place), and also through collecting records of the activity sheets and session notes written up by the volunteers.
Intervention code [1] 314437 0
Treatment: Other
Intervention code [2] 314438 0
Intervention code [3] 314439 0
Comparator / control treatment
NA (one arm trial)
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 320492 0
Acceptability: On completion of the study, participants were asked to indicate their satisfaction with the intervention on visual analogue scale from 1 (least satisfied) to 10 (most satisfied).
Timepoint [1] 320492 0
Post intervention (8-weeks)
Secondary outcome [1] 370306 0
Resident's positive well-being. Measured with the 8-item Flourishing Scale.
Timepoint [1] 370306 0
Post intervention (8-weeks)
Secondary outcome [2] 370307 0
Resident's symptoms of anxiety: Measured using the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Questionnaire
Timepoint [2] 370307 0
Post intervention (8 weeks)
Secondary outcome [3] 370500 0
Volunteer's positive well-being, measured with the 8-item Flourishing scale.
Timepoint [3] 370500 0
Post intervention (8 weeks)
Secondary outcome [4] 371789 0
Resident's depressive symptoms, measured using the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire
Timepoint [4] 371789 0
Post intervention (8 weeks)

Key inclusion criteria
Aged Care Residents:
Adult aged 65 or over who was a full-time resident in one of three Benatas aged care facilities in the Melbourne region, VIC, Australia. They were also required to have at least mild symptoms of depression, defined as a score of at least 6 on the PHQ-9.

Healthy volunteers, delivering the Behavioural activation intervention:
Healthy adult volunteers were required to be aged 18 or over, and were screened for suitability by the aged care facility.
Minimum age
18 Years
Maximum age
No limit
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
Resident participants: Presence of a medically diagnosed severe cognitive impairment; non-English language.

Study design
Purpose of the study
Allocation to intervention
Non-randomised trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
Masking / blinding
Who is / are masked / blinded?

Intervention assignment
Single group
Other design features
Not Applicable
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis

Recruitment status
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)
Recruitment postcode(s) [1] 26472 0
3056 - Brunswick
Recruitment postcode(s) [2] 26473 0
3931 - Mornington
Recruitment postcode(s) [3] 26474 0
3018 - Altona

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 302744 0
Name [1] 302744 0
Brockhoff Foundation
Address [1] 302744 0
Suite 501/685 Burke Rd, Camberwell VIC 3124
Country [1] 302744 0
Primary sponsor type
Other Collaborative groups
National Aging Research Institute
34-48 Poplar Rd, Parkville VIC 3052
Secondary sponsor category [1] 302676 0
Name [1] 302676 0
University of Melbourne
Address [1] 302676 0
Parkville VIC 3010
Country [1] 302676 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Ethics committee name [1] 303344 0
The University of Melbourne Human Ethics Sub Committee: Psychology, Health and Applied Sciences (PHAS)
Ethics committee address [1] 303344 0
Parkville, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010
Ethics committee country [1] 303344 0
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 303344 0
Approval date [1] 303344 0
Ethics approval number [1] 303344 0

Brief summary
This study will investigate the feasibility and acceptability of an eight-week behavioural activation programme, delivered by volunteers, designed to improve the wellbeing of residents in residential aged care facilities (RACFs), a group known to experience high levels of depression. The programme will involve training approximately 10 volunteers in behavioural activation (BA) techniques over two half-day training sessions. The volunteers will then work with aged care residents twice per week for eight weeks to deliver the BA programme. Behavioural activation is a well-supported treatment for depression that aims to improve mood by using a structured approach to increasing participation in enjoyable activities.
The primary aim of this study is to investigate the feasibility of an 8-week volunteer-led BA intervention for RACF residents. The secondary aim of this study is to collect preliminary data to investigate if the intervention shows promise in being effective in reducing psychological symptoms (depression, anxiety) and improving the well-being of approximately 20 aged care residents.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 93350 0
A/Prof Briony Dow
Address 93350 0
National Aging Research Institute, 34-48 Poplar Rd, Parkville VIC 3052
Country 93350 0
Phone 93350 0
+61 (03) 8387 2305
Fax 93350 0
Email 93350 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 93351 0
A/Prof Briony Dow
Address 93351 0
National Aging Research Institute, 34-48 Poplar Rd, Parkville VIC 3052
Country 93351 0
Phone 93351 0
+61 (03) 8387 2305
Fax 93351 0
Email 93351 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 93352 0
A/Prof Briony Dow
Address 93352 0
National Aging Research Institute, 34-48 Poplar Rd, Parkville VIC 3052
Country 93352 0
Phone 93352 0
+61 (03) 8387 2305
Fax 93352 0
Email 93352 0

Data sharing statement
Will individual participant data (IPD) for this trial be available (including data dictionaries)?
No/undecided IPD sharing reason/comment
What supporting documents are/will be available?
No other documents available
Summary results
Have study results been published in a peer-reviewed journal?
Other publications
Have study results been made publicly available in another format?
Results – basic reporting
Results – plain English summary