Introduction Studies have shown that about half of HIV-positive people are involved in a variety of psychiatric disorders which depression is the most common. The chance of developing a depressive disorder is two times higher in HIV-infected patients than in HIV negative comparison subjects. Mental disorders are over-represented in prisoners. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of cognitive group therapy based on schema-focused approach in decreasing depression in prisoners living with HIV.
Methods The design of this study was semi-experimental with pre-test, post-test and control group. The research population consisted of all prisoners living with HIV in Mashhad Central Prison. 20 prisoners living with HIV were selected by convenience sampling, and randomly assigned to an experimental group (10 prisoners) and a control group (10 prisoners). The experimental group received schema-focused cognitive group therapy while the control group received no treatment. The research measurement instruments consisted of SQ-SF and BDI-II. ANCOVA models were used to test the study hypothesis.
Results Cognitive group therapy based on schema focused approach decreased maladaptive schemas in the experimental group compare to the control group. Subsequently depression was decreased in the experimental group compare to the control group.
Conclusion This study showed that Schema Therapy is an effective treatment for depression in special populations. Life of people living with HIV, particularly in prisons, is full of emotional deprivation, defects and damage; these reasons can cause conditions which is lead to depression. ST through modulation maladaptive schemes could reduce depression in prisoners living with HIV.
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