Collaborative Care in Screen-Positive Elders (CASPER)

STUDY UPDATE - Results of the first trial

The results of the first CASPER trial have now been published. We would like to thank everyone who took part. 

CASPER Statistical Analysis Plan (PDF  , 677kb)

CASPER Protocol Changes (PDF  , 12kb)

Results show that Collaborative Care led to a reduction in the severity of depressive symptoms and was good value for money. Twelve months after starting the treatment, patients were found to be less likely to go on to develop clinical depression. 

CASPER is the first large-scale UK study into the integrated primary care of older people with depression. The study began in 2011, when the York Mental Health Research Group led by Professor Simon Gilbody started to investigate the effectiveness of screening and psychological treatments for older people with mild depression.

The study now includes three trials with around 1,500 participants from York, Leeds, Durham, Newcastle and surrounding areas: CASPER and SHARD (for people with mild to moderate symptoms of depression) and CASPER Plus (for those with major depression).

Our aim is to see if a form of individual telephone support, called Collaborative Care, offers significant benefits in reducing depression symptoms, prevents the onset of depression and improves quality of life for people aged 65 and over. The CASPER trials compare Collaborative Care with the care people already receive from their GP (Usual GP Care). The SHARD trial compares a self-help booklet based on Collaborative Care with Usual GP Care.

About Collaborative Care

Collaborative Care has been specially adapted to address common psychological problems in older people. Such care involves a case manager who provides information on low mood or depression and antidepressants (where these are indicated) and helps the participant to work through an activity focused intervention. The case manager liaises with the participant’s GP regarding their care.

In the CASPER trial, case managers support participants with an activity based intervention called Behavioural Activation. They also work with the participant to identify ways to keep well in the future.


Funded by


In collaboration with

 University of York