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A novel intervention program to treat depression

This is Science Today. A novel intervention program developed by a University of California Berkeley professor to treat depression is illuminating cultural differences in how patients respond to behavioral therapy. Clinical psychologist Adrian Aguilera uses an automated text messaging system to check in with his patients, who are mostly from non-English speaking and underserved communities. He found that different cultural groups responded differently to the messages.

Aguilera:        English speakers seem to highlight the fact that receiving text messages about your mood helped them reflect about their current emotional state. One patient said," helped me look in the proverbial mirror." Many of the Spanish-speaking patients tended to say more things such as "I felt cared for" or "when I received a message it reminded me that someone cared about how I'm doing." And so there's a little bit more of a relational aspect that seems to be highlighted.

Narrator:        Aguilera plans to conduct larger studies to see if these differences hold true and can be used to develop more individualized treatment programs for different cultural groups. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.