Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Group in Reducing Self-Stigma and Depressive Symptoms for People with Clinical Depression —A Randomized Controlled Trail
The problem of self-stigma is common among people with depression, and recent studies reported that about
forty percentage of people with mental illness in Europe and Hong Kong had self-stigma. Self-stigma is found to have
negative impacts on the individual’s life, such as reducing adherence to treatment, increasing depressive symptoms, and
reducing quality of life.
Objective. This research project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) group on
reducing self-stigma and depressive symptoms for people who has received a diagnosis of depression in Hong Kong.
Methods. In this study, a randomized controlled trial was adopted. 32 people, who received a diagnosis with depression
from their medical officers, were randomized assigned to a treatment or control group. In addition to treatment as usual
(TAU), treatment group participants (n= 15) participated into a 10-session CBT group, while control group participants (n=
17) received TAU. Standardized assessment tools including: Self-Stigma of Mental Illness Scale (SSMIS) and Beck
Depression Inventory (BDI), were used to assess the self-stigma and depressive symptoms respectively at the pre- and posttreatment
periods by a research assistant who was blind to the group assignment of participants.
Results. Results of paired t-test demonstrated that after completing the CBT group intervention, the treatment group showed
significantly improvement on SSMIS (t= -2.30, p< .05) and BDI scores (t= -2.27, p< .05), while the control group did not
show any significant change in SSMIS and BDI scores.
Conclusions. This study provides evidences to support the efficacy and effectiveness of a CBT group on reducing selfstigma
and depressive symptoms for people with clinical depression.
Keywords: Self-stigma, Depression, cognitive behavioral therapy, Randomized controlled trial