Group Therapy Can Help Treat Depression Among HIV/AIDS Patients, Uganda Study Says
People living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda who also have major depression have benefited from group therapy sessions, according to a study conducted by counselors from World Vision and researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University, the New York Times reports. Counselors conducted therapy studies with 15 groups of patients, separated into groups of 12 according to gender. They did not allow patients who "entertained active thoughts" of suicide to participate in the study, but many participants said that they had thought about suicide at some point, according to the Times. Participants attended one 90-minute session each week for four months. Following the sessions, researchers found that 6.5% of group therapy participants still had major depression, compared with 54.7% of participants in the control group who did not participate in therapy, the Times reports. Many of the people who participated in the therapy sessions have continued to meet, and some have used their groups to start business ventures together, according to the Times. Paul Bolton of the Boston University School of Public Health, who led the study during his tenure at JHU, said, "So much attention is being paid to AIDS, but so little is being done about the mental health aspects of the disease. Depression devastates people's ability to function" (Lacey, New York Times, 1/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.