Effects on Daily Spiritual Experiences of Religious Versus Conventional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We compared religiously integrated cognitive behavioral therapy (RCBT) versus conventional CBT (CCBT) on increasing daily spiritual experiences (DSE) in major depressive disorder and chronic medical illness. A total of 132 participants aged 18-85 were randomized to either RCBT (n = 65) or CCBT (n = 67). Participants received ten 50-min sessions (primarily by telephone) over 12 weeks. DSE was assessed using the Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale (DSES). Mixed-effects growth curve models compared the effects of treatment group on trajectory of change in DSE. Baseline DSE and changes in DSE were examined as predictors of change in depressive symptoms. DSE increased significantly in both groups. RCBT tended to be more effective than CCBT with regard to increasing DSE (group by time interaction B = -1.80, SE = 1.32, t = -1.36, p = 0.18), especially in those with low religiosity (B = -4.26, SE = 2.27, t = -1.88, p = 0.07). Higher baseline DSE predicted a decrease in depressive symptoms (B = -0.09, SE = 0.04, t = -2.25, p = 0.025), independent of treatment group, and an increase in DSE with treatment correlated with a decrease in depressive symptoms (r = 0.29, p = 0.004). RCBT tends to be more effective than CCBT in increasing DSE, especially in persons with low religiosity. Higher baseline DSE and increases in DSE over time predict a faster resolution of depressive symptoms. Efforts to increase DSE, assessed by a measure such as the DSES, may help with the treatment of depression in the medically ill.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Koenig, HG; Pearce, MJ; Nelson, B; Erkanli, A

Published Date

  • October 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 55 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1763 - 1777

PubMed ID

  • 27305903

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-6571

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10943-016-0270-3


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States