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Conventional, Religiously Integrated CBT Similarly Effective

Similar outcomes for CCBT, RCBT for participants with major depression and chronic medical illness

WEDNESDAY, April 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) — For individuals with major depression and chronic medical illness, conventional cognitive behavioral therapy (CCBT) and religiously integrated CBT (RCBT) have equivalent efficacy, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

Harold G. Koenig, M.D., from the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues examined the efficacy of CCBT versus RCBT in persons with major depression and chronic illness. Participants were randomly allocated to receive CCBT (67 individuals) or RCBT (65 individuals). Both groups underwent 10 50-minute sessions delivered remotely during 12 weeks.

The researchers observed similar adherence to treatment in both groups, except for more religious participants in whom adherence to RCBT was greater (85.7 versus 65.9 percent; P =0.10). There was no significant between-group difference in outcome at 12 weeks (P = 0.86) in intention-to-treat analysis. Similar response rates and remission rates were seen between the groups. There was an interaction between overall religiosity and treatment group (P = 0.048); in the more religious participants, RCBT was found to be slightly more efficacious.

“These preliminary findings suggest that CCBT and RCBT are equivalent treatments of major depression in persons with chronic medical illness,” the authors write. “Efficacy, as well as adherence, may be affected by client religiosity.”

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