Quality of Life and Marital Adjustment after Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Behavioural Marital Therapy in Couples with Anxiety Disorders

Kavitha C(1), Rangan U(2), Nirmalan PK(3).

Author information:
(1)Consultant and Founder, Department of Clinical Psychology, Manasvin’s Center for Marital and Family Therapy , Anand Nagar Colony, Khairatabad, Hyderabad,India .

(2)Professor (Retd), Department of Psychology, Osmania University ,Hyderabad, India .

(3)Director, Department of Woman and Child Health Research Unit, Fernandez Hospital , Hyderabad, India .

J Clin Diagn Res. 2014 Aug;8(8):WC01-4. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2014/9692.4752.

BACKGROUND: Anxiety disorders may affect nearly one in four persons and may cause significant impairment of interpersonal relationships including marital relationships. The effect of the disorder on the spouse and the impact of including the spouse in therapy are not well studied.
AIM: To determine if Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) improves the quality of life of participants with anxiety disorders and if marital adjustment of couples with anxiety disorders can be improved with Behavioural Marital Therapy (BMT),
relative to standard care of pharmacotherapy and psychoeducation.
METHODS: An open label randomised controlled trial. Participants were randomly assigned to CBT+BMT or standard of care. Final assessments were carried out at 3.5 months after baseline. Quality of life was assessed using the WHOQOL-Bref instrument and Marital adjustment was measured using a marital quality scale. Chi-square test, student’s t-test and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Effect sizes with Cohen’s d were used to compare differences between groups.
RESULTS: Clinically meaningful effect sizes for the CBT+ BMT intervention were evident for the marital adjustment scores among participants (d=0.63) and their spouses (d=1.29), and for the psychological (d=0.84), social (d=0.72) and environmental (d=0.52) domains of the WHOQOL of participants and psychological (d=0.86), social (d=0.32) and environmental domains (d=1.01) of the WHOQOL of spouses of participants.
CONCLUSION: CBT for the partner with anxiety disorder and BMT for couples with anxiety disorders and marital discord and involvement of the spouse in the therapy will be a useful addition to the management of a couple where one partner
has an anxiety disorder.


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