Life-crossroads on stage: integrating life review and drama therapy for older adults

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This paper examines the contribution of a new group of therapeutic interventions for older adults, based on a rudimentary life-review intervention. The intervention includes narrative elements together with drama therapy. The current study examines the influence of this therapeutic intervention on key indicators of mental health and psychological well-being among older adults. Method: Fifty-five people (n = 55), ranging in age from 62 to 93, participated in a before–after study design. The following indices–meaning in life, self-acceptance, relationships with others, depressive symptoms, and experience of successful aging–were compared between an intervention group (n = 27) and a care-as-usual control group (n = 28). Results: Repeated measures analyses of variance showed a significant improvement over time in the experimental group. In addition, results also showed time-group interaction regarding the treatment's effectiveness for self-acceptance, relationships with others, sense of meaning in life, sense of successful aging, and depressive symptoms. Conclusion: Our findings confirm that the new therapeutic intervention, which integrates life-review with drama therapy, increases self-acceptance, relationships with others, sense of meaning in life, and sense of successful aging; in turn, it also decreases depressive symptoms among older adults. The contribution of this research is based on the development of a therapeutic intervention that combines narrative together with drama therapy tools, which can be used in focused and short-term group treatments with the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1089
Number of pages11
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number10
StatePublished - 3 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was partially supported by a research grant from the Center for Research and Study of Aging at the University of Haifa and the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Life-crossroads
  • drama therapy
  • group psychotherapy
  • life-review
  • older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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