‘The World’ Profiles Study Showing Benefits of Group Therapy Among Ugandans Affected by HIV/AIDS
"The World" -- a coproduction of BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston -- on Thursday reported on a recent study showing that people affected by HIV/AIDS in Uganda who also have major depression have benefited from group therapy sessions (Baron, "The World," PRI, 3/25). The study was conducted by counselors from World Vision and researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University. Counselors conducted therapy studies with 15 groups of people, separated into groups of 12 according to gender. They did not allow patients who had active thoughts of suicide to participate in the study, but many participants said that they had thought about suicide at some point. 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 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/15). The researchers were "stunned" that group therapy -- a technique "taken for granted, sometimes even laughed at in the United States" -- could be "so effective," PRI reports. Dr. Paul Bolton, who designed the study, said that the results were "so extreme" that he was "skeptical at first." However, the researchers could not "get rid of the huge improvement that we saw. ... [S]o at the end of the day, we had to decide that the results were accurate," Bolton said (Baron, "The World," PRI, 3/25).
The complete segment is available online in Windows Media.