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Personal Construct Therapy vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in the Treatment of Depression in Women with Fibromyalgia: Study Protocol for a Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial

Authors Paz C, Aguilera M, Salla M, Compañ V, Medina JC, Bados A, García-Grau E, Castel A, Cañete Crespillo J, Montesano A, Medeiros-Ferreira L, Feixas G

Received 18 October 2019

Accepted for publication 7 January 2020

Published 24 January 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 301—311


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Clara Paz,1 Mari Aguilera,2 Marta Salla,3 Victoria Compañ,3 Joan C Medina,3,4 Arturo Bados,3 Eugeni García-Grau,3 Antoni Castel,5 José Cañete Crespillo,6 Adrián Montesano,7 Leticia Medeiros-Ferreira,8 Guillem Feixas3,4

1School of Psychology, Universidad de Las Américas, Quito, Ecuador; 2Department of Cognition, Development and Educational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 3Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology, Faculty of Psychology, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 4The Institute of Neurosciences, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 5Hospital Universitari de Tarragona Joan XXIII, Tarragona, Spain; 6Department of Psychiatry, Hospital de Mataró, Mataró, Spain; 7Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain; 8Nou Barris Nord Adult Mental Health Centre, Barcelona, Spain

Correspondence: Clara Paz Jose Queri y Av, De Los Granados, Quito EC170125, Ecuador
Tel +593 2 3981000 ext. 2518
Email [email protected]

Background: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a debilitating syndrome, more prevalent in women, which is aggravated by the presence of depressive symptoms. In the last decade, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has demonstrated to reduce such depressive symptoms and pain in these patients, but there are still a considerable number of them who do not respond to interventions. The complexity of the disorder requires the consideration of the unique psychological characteristics of each patient to attain good outcomes. One approach that could accomplish this goal might be personal construct therapy (PCT), an idiographic approach that considers identity features and interpersonal meanings as their main target of intervention. Then, the aim of the study is to test the efficacy of PCT as compared to a well-established treatment in the reduction of depressive symptoms in women with fibromyalgia.
Methods and Analysis: This is a multicenter randomized controlled trial. In each condition participants will attend up to eighteen 1-hr weekly therapy sessions and up to three 1-hr booster sessions during the following 3– 5 months after the end of treatment. The depression subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-D) will be the primary outcome measure and it will be assessed at baseline, at the end of therapy, and at 6-month follow-up. Other secondary measures will be applied following the same schedule. Participants will be 18- to 70-years-old women with a diagnosis of FM, presenting depressive symptoms evinced by scores above seven in depression items of the HADS-D. Intention-to-treat and complete case analyses will be performed for the main statistical tests. Linear mixed models will be used to analyze and to compare the treatment effects of both conditions.
Trial Registration: NCT02711020.

Keywords: psychotherapy, pain, repertory grid technique, study protocol, CBT, personal construct therapy

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