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Adv Biomed Res. 2013 Jun 29;2:53. doi: 10.4103/2277-9175.114201. eCollection 2013.

Controlled randomized clinical trial of spirituality integrated psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication intervention on depressive symptoms and dysfunctional attitudes in patients with dysthymic disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Research Center, School of Medicine, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences (IUMS), Isfahan, Iran.
  • 2Department of Psychology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences Research Center, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences (IUMS), Isfahan, Iran.
  • 4Psychosomatic Research Center, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences (IUMS), Isfahan, Iran.



Due to the controversy over efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy for chronic depression, recently, there has been an increasingly tendency toward therapeutic methods based on the cultural and spiritual approaches. The aim of this research was to compare efficacy of spiritual integrated psychotherapy (SIPT) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) on the intensity of depression symptoms and dysfunctional attitudes of patients with dysthymic disorder.


This study had a mixed qualitative and quantitative design. In the first phase, SIPT model was prepared and, in the second phase, a double-blind random clinical trial was performed. Sixty-two patients with dysthymic disorder were selected from several centers include Nour and Alzahra Medical Center, Counseling Centers of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences and Goldis in Isfahan. The participants were randomly assigned to three experimental groups and one control group. The first group received 8 sessions treatment of SIPT, second groups also had 8 sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy, which was specific to dysthymic disorder and third group were under antidepressant treatment. Beck depression inventory and dysfunctional attitudes scale were used to evaluate all the participants in four measurement stages. The data were analyzed using MANCOVA repeated measure method.


The results revealed that SIPT had more efficacy than medication based on both scales (P < 0.01); however, it was not different from CBT. SIPT was more effective on the modification of dysfunctional attitudes compared with CBT and medication (P < 0.05).


These findings supported the efficacy of psychotherapy enriched with cultural capacities and religious teachings.


Cognitive-behavior therapy; depression; dysthymic disorder; medication; psychotherapy; religious; spiritual

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