AN EXPERIMENTAL IMPACT ANALYSIS OF BHAGAVAD GITA IN MENTAL STATE OF CANCER PATIENTS
Keywords:cancer, depression, Gita based psychotherapy, mental state, music therapy, stress
Morbidity with cancer is stressful and cancer patients frequently present with depression, anxiety and stress related disorders. Psychotherapy is reported to decrease emotional distress, improve immunity and to reduce the chemotherapy doses. The Gita, a Hindu epic depicts one of the earliest documented sessions of Cognitive behavior therapy. Objectives of this study were: a. to assess the stress and ‘psychiatric caseness’, b. to explore the effect of the Gita based psychotherapy on the mental state (GHQ) and c. to assess the effect of Bhajan/ Kirtan (religious music therapy) on the mental state (GHQ) among cancer patients. It was a cancer-hospital-based study using convenient and purposive sampling among cancer patients (study period- six months). We had three subject groups: Medicine as usual, Medicine plus Bhajan/Kirtan and Medicine plus Gita based therapy. With informed written consent, they were enrolled to apply the instruments: Perceived Stress Scale (Sheldon Cohen) to assess stress and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) (David Goldberg) to assess ‘psychiatric caseness’. Majority of cancer patients (90%) had severe level of stress. Pre-intervention GHQ-12 Scores indicated that cancer patients with moderately depressed mood were 50% in medicine, 47% in Bhajan and 56% in Gita group. There was improvement in mental state as relief from depressed mood in 1 week of intervention in: 1% in Medicine, 14% in Bhajan and 41% in Gita group. The Gita based psychological intervention significantly improved depressed mood in Cancer patients.
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