Comparison of the Effect of Schema Therapy and Cognitive Group Therapy on Depression in Women Engaging in High-Risk Sexual Behaviors Who Were Referred to Hamadan Health Center


Background: Treatment for psychological disorders is generally based on signs and symptoms, and research in this area has shown that major depression has become one of the most significant psychiatric disorders of the last decade.

Objectives: This study was conducted to compare the effects of schema therapy and cognitive group therapy on women with depression who were engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors and were referred to the Hamadan Health Center for AIDS testing.

Patients and Methods: This research was done at the Hamadan shohada infirmary from 2015 to 2016 and was confirmed by the ethics committee of Hamadan University of Medical Sciences. It was a semi-experimental study using single stage cluster sampling. The statistical sample consisted of 500 women ranging in age from 20 to 60 years old with at least a diploma. The women were engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors and were referred to the health center for AIDS testing. Psychologists and a physician conducted a diagnostic interview, and 217 subjects were randomly chosen using a sample volume formula, in addition to Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS). Eighty five of the subjects were diagnosed with depression, of whom 45 were chosen randomly and divided into three groups of 15 consisting of two experimental groups and one control group. Twelve sessions of cognitive group therapy and 12 sessions of schema therapy were implemented for 90 minutes per session. At the end of the training period, the three groups were post-tested and depression components were then investigated in the pretest and post-test results.

Results: The findings support the idea that a significant difference exists in terms of the mean of depression between schema therapy and cognitive therapy, as follows: F (1, 41) = 60.650 P < 0.01.

Conclusions: The results show that schema therapy is more effective than cognitive group therapy for treating depression in women engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors.