Archstone Foundation awarded $122,000 to expand a USC mental health research study aimed at addressing depression among older Latinos suffering from a chronic illness.

Led by Isabel Lagomasino, MD, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Cuerpo Sano, Mente Sana (Spanish for “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind”) is a self-management intervention program that educates and empowers patients to take control of their own health care.

Patients, who are recruited from LAC+USC Medical Center, are asked to attend eight weekly group self-management sessions during which the participants receive information on general health and depression, and how to access help in their communities. They also learn strategies for improving their interpersonal relationships, managing their cognitive symptoms and interrupting negative thoughts.

The patients are later evaluated for changes in their depression and overall health and their results are compared with a control group that does not attend the group sessions. The patients recruited under the Archstone grant will also be evaluated for changes in diabetes and blood pressure.

The Archstone grant expands upon a current grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to assess the feasibility, implementation strategy and potential sustainability of Cuerpo Sano, Mente Sana. The NIMH award was to ensure the feasibility of the program by conducting a series of small pilot tests and making any needed revisions.


— By Hope Hamashige