Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Comparison of the Effect of Group Transdiagnostic Therapy and Group Cognitive Therapy on Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Comparison of the Effect of Group Transdiagnostic Therapy and Group Cognitive Therapy on Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms

Article excerpt


Background: The cognitive behavioral interventions based on the transdiagnostic approach for emotional disorders have received useful empirical supports in recent years. Most of the researches on this area have been conducted without any control group. Moreover, little information about comparative effectiveness has reported. The current study was compared transdiagnostic group therapy with classical cognitive group therapy.

Methods: Thirty three collages students with anxiety and depressive symptoms participated in eight two-hour sessions in Akhavan Hospital, Tehran, Iran during May and June 2011. The results were analyzed by The Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale, and Work and Social Adjustment Scale in pre and post intervention.

Results: Both groups showed the significant difference in research variables pre and post test. However, there was no significant difference in the results analysis using ACOVAs except for anxiety symptoms.

Conclusions: The effectiveness of transdiagnostic group therapy was confirmed in reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms. Implications of the study are discussed.

Keywords: Transdiagnostic group-therapy, Anxiety, Depression


During the recent years, the effective treatments have been found for emotional disorders espe-cially anxiety and depression (1). Nevertheless, a large number of people cannot access to these treatments. Norton and Hope (2) noted that this problem was related to the dissemination of effec-tive treatments and accessibility to effective treat-ments. The cognitive behavioral approaches have published many therapeutic manuals and proto-cols for emotional disorders and their effective-ness have been confirmed by many studies (1). Using these treatments face to two great obstacles including lack of access to these treatments by the clients and the lack of applying these treatments through therapists (3).

Lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders and de-pressive disorders has been reported respectively, 29 % and 21% (4). These disorders associated with considerable burden on the societies directly and indirectly (5, 6). Comorbidity between these two disorders has been reported about 40% -80% and they have high comorbidity with other disor-ders such as drug abuse. These chronic disorders have the risk of relapse, recurrent and low chance for improvement without treatment (7).

Although current cognitive therapies have been found successful in improving emotional disord-ers, they have some limitations such as loss of re-sponse to the current therapies among patients (8). In addition, the successful cognitive therapies are mainly complex and merely aimed at especial disorders. However, different therapeutic instruc-tions have been published for disorders, training and obtaining skills in each of them need to spend money and time. Moses and Barlow (8) suggested that the solution for these problems was to create a unified therapeutic approach for a range of emo-tional disorders. It is necessary to utilize transdiag-nostic models for a great range of mental disorders. Transdiagnostic treatments (unified approach) have been introduced for these limitations. Unified ap-proach or cognitive-behavioral transdiagnostic therapy is a therapy that has the same therapeutic principals for all emotional disorders without any adaptation to the especial disorder (9). Remarkable attention has been devoted to the transdiagnostic therapy that has been newly practiced (10-12). The transdiagnostic therapies have been shown their effectiveness in the treatment of wide variety of emotional disorders (9, 12, 13).

In the area of cognitive behavioral transdiagnostic treatments, different therapeutic protocols have been introduced (3). The current study was ex-amined the effectiveness of transdiagnostic group therapy in reduction of sub-clinical symptoms of anxiety and depression and compares it with clas-sical cognitive group therapy. …

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