The Effectiveness of Group Contracting and Behavioral Activation Therapy on Depression, Anxiety and Marital Stress in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease



Introduction: This research aimed to investigate the effectiveness of group contracting and behavioral activation therapy on depression, anxiety and marital stress of patients with Coronary Heart Disease.
Method: In a quasi-experimental design with pre-test/post-test with control group paradigm , a sample of 56 coronary heart disease person (26 male and 30 female) were selected by available sampling method and randomly were assigned to two experimental and one control groups. All participants were completed the Demographical Questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety- Depression Scale, and the Marital Stress Scale. Two treatment groups were received group contracting and behavioral activation therapy during a 2 months period. A post-test and 4 months follow up were also administered for all groups.
Results: Whereas no differences were evident for depression, significantly differences were observed for anxiety and marital stress in post-test and also in 4 months follow up tests in experimental group.
Conclusion: Whereas 2 months group contracting and behavioral activation therapy was effective and long lasting therapy in reducing anxiety and marital Stress of Coronary Heart Disease patients, it was not a sufficient period for depression reduction. This issue highlighted the planning and implementation of a more comprehensive and well tailored intervention for heart patients with anxiety, marital stress and high depression risk which seem to necessitate the prevention and health promotion programs for these patients.