A Comparative Study of the Efficacy of Cognitive Group Therapy and Aerobic Exercise in the Treatment of Depression among the Students
- Khirollah Sadeghi
- Seyed Ahmadi
- Seyed Ahmadi
- Mansour Rezaei
- Javad Miri
- Alireza Abdi
- Firoozeh Khamoushi
- Mahin Salehi
- Khadijeh Jamshidi
BACKGROUND: Depression is one of the most common mental disorders. Finding effective treatments for such a disorder with higher efficiency lower side effects and affordability is an active area of research in psychiatry. This study aimed to comparatively analyze the effects of the cognitive group therapy and aerobic exercises on depression, automatic negative thoughts and dysfunctional attitudes of students at Kermanshah University of Medical Science.
METHODS: In this clinical trial, 46 associate and undergraduate students at Kermanshah University of Medical Science were randomly divided into three groups: cognitive therapy, aerobic exercise, and control. The data was gathered both before and 8 weeks after the intervention. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), automatic negative thoughts (ATQ), and the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale (DAS) were used as the data collection instruments. The data were analyzed with SPSS version 15 using paired samples T-test, chi-square test, Kruskal-Wallis test, and analysis of variance (ANOVA).
RESULTS: Cognitive therapy caused a significant decrease in depression, belief in automatic negative thoughts, and dysfunctional attitudes in comparison to the control group (p<0.05). Although aerobics compared to the control group causes more reductions in the variables, however, It was only meaningful for the depression variable (p=0.049). Cognitive therapy also reduced the variables more than the aerobic exercise, but the decrease was not statistically significant.
CONCLUSIONS: Cognitive group therapy and aerobic exercise are effective in treating depression. For treating depression, aerobic exercise can be used as a therapy itself or along with cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy.
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