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01-10-2009 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2009

Cognitive Therapy and Research 5/2009

Exploring the Efficacy of Cognitive Bibliotherapy and a Potential Mechanism of Change in the Treatment of Depressive Symptoms Among the Chinese: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 5/2009
Emily Tung-Hsueh Liu, Wan-Lan Chen, Yi-Hwei Li, Chiao Han Wang, Tze Jing Mok, Hwei Shan Huang


The present study investigated the efficacy of cognitive bibliotherapy in the treatment of depressive symptoms among Chinese individuals in Taiwan. Adults with depressive symptoms (N = 52, M age = 26.4) were randomly assigned to the treatment condition or the delayed treatment control condition. Participants were assessed at pretreatment, posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up. Results indicated that participants’ overall depression level lowered at posttreatment. Analyses were performed on the intention-to-treat basis. Multiple imputation inference procedure (Rubin in Multiple imputation for nonresponse in surveys, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York 1987) was adopted to estimate missing values and to draw inferences based on the imputed data. Results of the analyses indicated that the cognitive-affective symptoms of depression, rather than the somatic symptoms of depression, evidenced significant reduction as a result of cognitive bibliotherapy. Further reductions in cognitive-affective symptoms were observed at 3-month follow-up. Lastly, learned resourcefulness was found to be a mechanism through which bibliotherapy reduced depressive symptoms. The present study provides preliminary evidence that cognitive bibliotherapy may be a promising treatment option for Chinese individuals with depressive symptoms. In the meantime, participants’ qualitative feedback may provide important direction for cross-cultural adaptation of cognitive bibliotherapy. Applied implications and cultural issues are discussed.

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