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Depression in Chronic Illness: Does Religion Help?

Koenig, Harold G.

doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000016
Feature: practice/research

ABSTRACT: This article examines the impact of depression on patients, reviews research on the relationship between religious involvement and depression, and explores the potential role of religious cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of depression in chronic illness. A randomized clinical trial at Duke University is examining the effectiveness of religious CBT versus conventional secular CBT in the treatment of major depression in patients with chronic illness. A validated religious psychotherapy intervention may provide nurses new strategies for helping chronically ill patients with depression.

Explore the physiological impact of depression, how religion helps, and a Duke University study examining the effectiveness of religious cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) versus conventional CBT in the treatment of major depression in patients with chronic illness.Supplemental digital content is available in text.

Harold G. Koenig, MD, a former nurse, is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, and Distinguished Adjunct Professor at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Dr. Koenig is a widely published researcher and scholar in spirituality and health.

Accepted by peer review 10/19/2012

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site.

Support for writing this article was provided by the John Templeton Foundation.

© 2014 by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship