Ethnic differences in the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy combined with medication: Comparing Asian American and white psychiatric patients Academic Article uri icon


  • Several meta-analyses have demonstrated the effectiveness of treatment utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) combined with medication. There is, however, a paucity of research comparing the effectiveness of this combined treatment with psychiatric patients from different ethnic backgrounds. This study is the first of its kind to compare the effectiveness of CBT combined with medication for Asian American and White patients' psychiatric symptom severity levels of depression, anxiety, psychological well-being, and quality of life. The study examined the effects of CBT combined with medication for 43 Asian American and 43 White Non-Hispanic patients at an acute psychiatric partial hospital. A 2×2 between-within repeated measures analysis of variance was used. Results indicated significant improvement after treatment in all symptom categories assessed for the Asian American and White patients. The findings displayed trends over the course of treatment toward a greater decrease in anxiety symptoms among Asian patients but a larger increase in functioning level among White patients. In conclusion, the findings from this study provide preliminary cross-cultural support for CBT combined with medication as a treatment in partial hospital settings and suggest that the effectiveness of such treatments is similar across cultural groups.

publication date

  • 2016