The Effect of Dignity Therapy on Perceived Dignity in Patients With Major Depression Disorder


1Evidence- Based Care Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background Because of the scarcity of studies on the effect of dignity therapy in patients with depression, and the conflicting results of the available studies, it is still unclear whether dignity therapy improves perceived dignity in patients with major depression disorder. Objectives This study aimed to examine the effect of dignity therapy on the perceived dignity of patients with major depression disorder. Methods In this randomized controlled trial, 58 patients with major depression disorder were randomly separated to an intervention group (28 patients) and a control group (30 ones). The intervention group received dignity therapy, according to a standard protocol and the control group only received routine care. A questionnaire for examining perceived human dignity was implemented immediately before and two months after the intervention. Descriptive statistics, Fischer’s exact test, Chi square, independent samples t-test, paired t-test, Mann-Whitney and Wilcoxon tests were used in data analysis. Results Of the 58 patients under study, 65.5% were female. No significant difference was found between the mean overall perceived dignity scores of the intervention group (100.2 ± 6.6) and the control group (99.8 ± 4.5) before the intervention (P = 0.78). However, two months after the intervention, the mean overall dignity scores were significantly different in the two groups (intervention group: 87.2 ± 3.8, control group: 98.9 ± 3.7, P < 0.001). Dignity therapy was effective on the subscales of dependency, peace of mind and social protection (P < 0.001), however, it did not affect distress signs (P = 0.10) and existential distress subscales (P = 0.09). Conclusions Dignity therapy can improve perceived dignity in patients with major depression disorder. Therefore, this method can be implemented to improve perceived dignity in patients with major depression.