The demographic increase in the proportion of older people in society also increases the need to establish specific prevention programs and psychotherapeutic interventions for this age group in order to enable a life that is as self-determined and value-oriented as possible even in old age. Data from the 2019 Austrian Health Survey highlight a decrease in subjectively experienced quality of life with increasing age, as well as an increase in mental disorders such as depression. Studies at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, on the other hand, indicate that specifically the older population perceives lower negative effects of the pandemic on well-being. However, there is a lack of current data on the mental well-being of older individuals. In the planned project, therefore, the psychological well-being of elderly persons is to be surveyed first. Furthermore, a preventive logotherapeutic group intervention for older people will be investigated. Specifically, this is a meaningful logotherapeutic program with the goal of promoting a self-determined, value-oriented life in old age. In the project, a total of at least 30 older people (65+) receive a logotherapeutic intervention in 8 double units of 1.5 hours each, which are offered in groups of 10 people. The study is conceived as a mixed methods design, i.e. a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. This approach corresponds to current research requirements and findings, according to which precisely this mixture can provide a comprehensive and at the same time detailed insight into the complex research subjects of mental health and psychotherapy. For this purpose, questionnaires and interviews are used to combine the qualitative and quantitative research methodology. While data on the research question is collected in its dimensions and breadth in the quantitative part by means of standardized questionnaires, in the qualitative part, in particular using the grounded theory approach and corresponding content analyzes of the semi-structured guideline interviews with open questions, even difficult to understand nuances and fine nuances of the elements and Dynamics of logotherapeutic intervention recorded. With these methods, completely new and neglected dimensions can be opened up and made visible.


Duration 01/03/2022 - 31/12/2023
Funding Private (Stiftungen, Vereine etc.)

Department for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy

Principle investigator for the project (University for Continuing Education Krems) Assoz. Prof. Priv.-Doz.Dr.Dipl.-Ing. Elke Humer, MSc BEd Bakk.


Humer, E.; Gächter, A.; Dale, R.; Probst, T.; Pieh, C. (2022). The association of health behaviors and mental health during COVID-19. General Hospital Psychiatry, 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2022.06.001

Humer, E.; Schaffler, Y.; Jesser, A.; Probst, T.; Pieh, C. (2022). Mental health in the Austrian general population during COVID-19: Cross-sectional study on the association with sociodemographic factors. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13: 943303

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