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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2008 Aug;42(8):702-11. doi: 10.1080/00048670802203418.

Cognitive and health-related outcomes of group cognitive behavioural treatment for people with depressive symptoms in Hong Kong: randomized wait-list control study.

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School of Nursing and Social Work, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Vic., Australia.



This study examined the efficacy of a territory-wide cognitive behavioural group treatment programme for Chinese people with depression launched in Hong Kong.


Three hundred and forty-seven subjects with depressive symptoms (i.e. Beck Depression Inventory-Chinese version >9) were randomly assigned to CBT and waitlist control groups.


After 10 weeks of treatment, participants in the group CBT programme had significantly fewer symptoms of depression, fewer dysfunctional and perfectionist attitudes, and better quality of life when compared to the participants in the control group. Effect size statistics showed small to medium differences in symptoms of depression, dysfunctional and perfectionist attitudes and quality of life between the two groups (Cohen's d, 0.22-0.74). Statistical analysis of the clinical significance indicated that approximately 27% of the participants in the experimental group could be considered as clinically remitted or recovered, respectively (RCI >1.28). Last, multiple regression provided some evidence of a linkage between cognition and depression among the participants in the experimental group.


The design and content of the group CBT programme, which aimed at facilitating the understanding and modification of automatic thoughts and dysfunctional attitudes among the participants, might have contributed to the initial positive results.

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