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Efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive behaviour therapy- self-help in managing depression in older clergy in nairobi county, kenya

Author: 
Ruth Omungo, Michael Kihara Ph.D. and Timothy Wachira, PhD
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

This study aimed at establishing the efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy-self-help (MBCT-SH) in managing depression among older clergy. The study was a response to the serious but under-investigated problem of depression among older clergy, whose experiences of ageing and vocational challenges combine to render them susceptible to depression, which can be debilitating. Interventions are needed to tackle this serious and widespread mental health condition. Interventions, such as mindfulness-based cognitive behaviour therapy, have proved effective in reducing mild or moderate depression and in stemming depressive relapses. However, in Kenya, the efficacy of this intervention had not been assessed, more so with older clergy in focus. This paper employed the MBCT-SH to fill this knowledge gap. The study used a quasi-experimental research design. The respondents (n=160) were a convenience sample, drawn from four mainline protestant denominations: the African Inland Church of Kenya (n=20), Anglican Church of Kenya (n=44), Methodist Church of Kenya (n=32), and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (n=51). The respondents were assigned to either an experimental or a control group. Those in the experimental group were exposed to MBCT-SH intervention for ten weeks while those in the control group received no treatment for the same period. The Becker Depression Inventory was used to estimate the levels of depression at the baseline, middle line, and end line. Generalised linear modelling was used, with repeated measures, to assess whether the depression levels would become less intense with the intervention of the MBCT-SH. Descriptive results showed that about 52% of participants had either mild or moderate depressive symptoms. Between the baseline and midline, the depression levels fell by 8%, and they fell by a comparable level between the baseline and end line. A significant difference was observed between the depression levels at baseline and midline (p=0.02) but not between the midline and end line (p=0.92). Regarding the control group, the BDI levels increased by 80% (M=7.6 at baseline and M=13.6 at the endline). For the treatment group, the BDI levels fell by 43% (M=12.5 at baseline and M=12.5 at the endline). Together, the findings give tentative evidence of the effectiveness of the MBCT-SH in controlling depressive symptoms among older clergy.

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