For chronically ill patients with major depression, an approach to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that incorporates patients’ religious beliefs is at least as effective as conventional CBT, suggests a study in the April issue of The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

“Integrating religious clients’ beliefs into CBT does not appear to significantly reduce its effectiveness, especially in religious clients,” write Harold Koenig, MD, of Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C., and colleagues. They believe that this approach might help to make psychotherapy more acceptable to religious patients with depression and chronic illness.

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