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BMJ Open ; 12(9): e062683, 2022 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2064158


INTRODUCTION: Depression is a common mental disorder and the (global) leading cause of all non-fatal burden of disease worldwide. Currently, supported treatment for depression is antidepressant medication and different psychotherapeutic interventions. Many patients experience, however, adverse effects of antidepressant medication, while at the same time the access to psychotherapeutic interventions are limited. Many patients who suffer from depression turn to complementary medicine and among those modalities often spiritual healing. There is some evidence that consulting a spiritual healer can be beneficial for patients who suffer from depression, and that spiritual healing is associated with low risk. The aim of this protocol is to conduct a pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) (spiritual healing as addition to usual care vs usual care alone) in preparation of a larger trial in adults with moderate depression, to examine feasibility and individuals' experience of spiritual healing. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study is a pilot RCT with two parallel groups. A total of 28 adult patients with moderate depression, diagnosed by the physician and according to the Montgomery and Åsberg Depression Rating Scale criteria will be randomised to spiritual healing in addition to usual care (n=14) or usual care alone (n=14). To determine if there is a statistical indication of an effect of healing warranting a full-scale study; the separation test will be used. To investigate participants' experience with spiritual healing, a qualitative study will be included using semistructured interviews. The data will be analysed based on a direct content analysis. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This protocol was approved by regional committees for medical and health research ethics by the identifier (63692). The results will be disseminated through open-access, peer-reviewed publications, in addition to stakeholders' reporting and presenting at conferences. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Norwegian Centre for Research Data (845302) and (ID: NCT04766242).

Depressive Disorder , Spiritual Therapies , Adult , Antidepressive Agents/therapeutic use , Depression/complications , Depression/therapy , Depressive Disorder/drug therapy , Humans , Pilot Projects , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic