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Religious Therapy for Depressive Disorders in Iran: A Systematic Review of Studies Published by 2013

Seyed Hamzeh Hosseini, Zahra Esmaeili Douki, Nazanin Vaezzadeh, Jamshid Yazdani


Background: Recent studies emphasize the efficacy of religious psychotherapy as a non- pharmacological approach. However, there are contradiction evidence and there has been no systematic exploration of evidence to identify optimal modes of treatment for depression in religious patients. The purpose of this paper was to assess the impact of religious interventions for Depressive Disorders in Iran.



A comprehensive search of clinical studies conducted in Iran and published before 2013 was carried out in major biomedical databases and specialized networks including Google Scholar, PubMed, SID and Mag Iran.

The present systematic review examined all the interventional studies conducted on the subject, whether randomized or non-randomized. Domestic articles published in Persian or English were collected from the databases. The search was restricted to human subjects. Only the articles with their full text available and designed as a clinical trial or another form of interventional study were examined.


.88 studies were accessed through searches in online databases. The results of 16 studies conducted on patients with symptoms of depression or those diagnosed with a depressive disorder showed religious therapy to be more effective in reducing depression, in intervention groups compared to the control groups. However, the majority of the studies reviewed had a poor methodological quality. There is thus a great likelihood of bias in the presentation of the results


Considering the limitations observed in most of the articles reviewed the ambiguities in the efficacy of religious therapy and interventions, conducting further studies with a more scientifically rigorous and strong methodological quality appears essential.

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