Adapted behavioural activation for the treatment of depression in Muslims
Kanter, Jonathan W.
- Publisher: Elsevier BV
Journal of Affective Disorders,
Clinical Psychology | Psychiatry and Mental health
Background Incorporating religious beliefs into mental health therapy is associated with positive treatment outcomes. However, evidence about faith-sensitive therapies for minority religious groups is limited. Methods Behavioural Activation (BA), an effective psychological therapy for depression emphasising client values, was adapted for Muslim patients using a robust process that retained core effective elements of BA. The adapted intervention built on evidence synthesised from a systematic review of the literature, qualitative interviews with 29 key informants and findings from a feasibility study involving 19 patients and 13 mental health practitioners. Results Core elements of the BA model were acceptable to Muslim patients. Religious teachings could potentially reinforce and enhance BA strategies and concepts were more familiar to patients and more valued than the standard approaches. Patients appreciated therapist professionalism and empathy more than shared religious identity but did expect therapist acceptance that Islamic teachings could be helpful. Patients were generally enthusiastic about the approach, which proved acceptable and feasible to most participants; however, therapists needed more support than anticipated to implement the intervention. Limitations The study did not re-explore effectiveness of the intervention within this specific population. Strategies to address implementation issues highlighted require further research. Conclusions The adapted intervention may be more appropriate for Muslim patients than standard therapies and is feasible in practice. Therapist comfort is an important issue for services wishing to introduce the adapted therapy. The fusion of conceptual frameworks within this approach provides increased choice to Muslim patients, in line with policy and research recommendations.