Patients with advanced renal failure often face considerable sociopsychological stress as a result of lifestyle changes due to the disease and its treatment. The aim of the present study is to examine the effect of the Holy Qur'an recitation on depressive symptoms in hemodialysis patients. In this clinical trial, 54 hemodialysis patients were randomized to either an experimental (n = 27) or a control (n = 27) group. Patients completed the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) at baseline and at 1 month after the intervention. Participants in the experimental group listened to recitation of the Holy Qur'an, while those in the control group received no intervention. The mean BDI-II score at baseline was 33.6 (±6.7) for the experimental group and 29.3 (±9.0) for the control group; at the end of treatment, BDI-II scores in the experimental and control groups were 14.5 (±4.8) and 31.6 (±9.2), respectively. Results from the repeated-measures general linear model controlling for baseline differences indicated a significant treatment effect (F = 9.30, p = 0.004, Cohen's d = 0.85). Holy Qur'an recitation has a significant effect on lowering depressive symptoms in hemodialysis patients. Holy Qur'an recitation is an easy-to-implement and cost-effective strategy that may be used to supplement the treatment of depression in this setting in Iran.
Keywords: Depression; Hemodialysis; Holy Qur’an recitation; Iran; Music.