Effectiveness of a Web-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Tool to Improve Mental Well-Being in the General Population: Randomized Controlled Trial
ABSTRACT Interventions to promote mental well-being can bring benefits to the individual and to society. The Internet can facilitate the large-scale and low-cost delivery of individually targeted health promoting interventions.
To evaluate the effectiveness of a self-directed Internet-delivered cognitive-behavioral skills training tool in improving mental well-being in a population sample.
This was a randomized trial with a waiting-list control. Using advertisements on a national health portal and through its mailing list, we recruited 3070 participants aged 18 or over, resident in England, and willing to give their email address and access a fully automated Web-based intervention. The intervention (MoodGYM) consisted of 5 interactive modules that teach cognitive-behavioral principles. Participants in the intervention arm received weekly email reminders to access the intervention. The control group received access to the intervention after the trial was completed and received no specific intervention or email reminders. Outcomes were assessed by using self-completion questionnaires. The primary outcome was mental well-being measured with the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS). Secondary outcomes were Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D) depression scores, Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale (GAD-7) anxiety scores, EuroQol Group 5-Dimension Self-Report Questionnaire (EQ-5D) quality of life scores, physical activity, and health service use. All outcomes were measured at baseline, and at 6- and 12-week follow-ups.
A total of 1529 (49.80%) participants completed final follow-up at 12 weeks. Retention was 73.11% (1123/1536) in the control arm and 26.47% (406/1534) in the intervention arm. No relationship between baseline measures and withdrawal could be established. The analysis of WEMWBS mental well-being scores using a linear mixed model for repeated measures showed no difference between intervention and control group at baseline (difference -0.124 points, 95% CI -0.814 to 0.566), and significant improvements for the intervention group at 6 weeks (2.542 points, 95% CI 1.693-3.390) and at 12 weeks (2.876 points, 95% CI 1.933-3.819). The model showed a highly significant (P<.001) intervention by time interaction effect. There were also significant improvements in self-rated scores of depression and anxiety. Given the high level of attrition, a sensitivity analysis with imputed missing values was undertaken that also showed a significant positive effect of the intervention.
Participants allocated to the intervention arm had an average increase of approximately 3 points on the WEMWBS scale compared to no increase for participants in the control group. Three points on this scale is approximately one-third of a standard deviation. In a low-cost automated intervention designed to shift the population distribution of mental well-being, a small difference per individual could yield a major benefit in population terms. In common with other Web-based interventions, there were high rates of attrition. Further work is needed to improve acceptability, to evaluate against placebo effect, and to disaggregate the effect on mental well-being from the effect on depression and anxiety.
International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number Register ISRCTN 48134476; http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN48134476 (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6DFgW2p3Q).
- SourceAvailable from: Omar Contreras
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- "). The scalability and cost-effectiveness of unsupported interventions allow them to be both evaluated in and distributed to populations that do not usually participate in randomized trials, such as individuals with sub-syndromal symptoms (Powell et al., 2013). Thus, although interventions that are supported/guided by a clinician or a coach may yield somewhat greater improvement as compared to unguided interventions (Andersson and Cuijpers, 2009; Johansson and Andersson, 2012; Newman et al., 2011), these additional benefits are limited in scope given logistical challenges and costs of scaling such guidance to a larger population (Johansson and Andersson, 2012). "
ABSTRACT: Internet interventions provide an option for those who either cannot or choose not to engage with traditional treatments. Most research on internet interventions involves guided or supported interventions. However, unsupported interventions offer considerably more scalability and cost-effectiveness, which makes them attractive for large-scale implementation. In this study, 309 participants recruited via Google AdWords entered an unsupported cognitive-behavioral internet intervention for depressive symptoms. To maximize the ecological validity of the study, participants received no incentives or live contact with study personnel. Furthermore, the study was open to individuals at any level of depressive symptoms, and all participants received the active intervention. The main outcome measures were depressive symptom level and self-efficacy in managing depressive symptoms. At follow-up, depression scores were significantly lower than baseline scores at each follow-up point (1, 2, 4, and 7 months), with pre-post effect sizes ranging from medium to large. Follow-up depression self-efficacy scores were significantly higher than baseline scores at each follow-up point, with pre-post effect sizes in the medium range. The results remained significant when analyzing only participants with depression scores indicative of a presence of a major depressive episode; results likewise remained significant when employing the conservative last observation carried forward convention, even in the presence of high attrition observed in this study. The results illustrate the potential of unsupported internet intervention to address the health needs of the global community.09/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.invent.2014.09.002
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ABSTRACT: In recent years, cerebrovascular disease has been the leading cause of death and adult disability in the world. This study describes an efficient approach to detect cerebrovascular disease.08/2013; 1(2):e20. DOI:10.2196/mhealth.2550
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ABSTRACT: Mild to moderate depression is common in those with cardiovascular disease and undertreated. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (iCBT) on depressive symptom severity and adherence to medical advice and lifestyle interventions in adults with mild to moderate depression and high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks. Randomised double-blind, 12 week attention-controlled trial comparing an iCBT programme (E-couch) with an internet-delivered attention control health information package (HealthWatch, n = 282). The primary outcome was depression symptom level on the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) (trial registration: ACTRN12610000085077). 487/562 (88%) participants completed the endpoint assessment. 383/562 (70%) were currently treated for cardiovascular disease and 314/562 (56%) had at least one other comorbid condition. In ITT analysis of 562 participants iCBT produced a greater decline in the mean PHQ-9 score compared to the attention control of 1.06 (95% CI: 0.23-1.89) points, with differences between the two arms increasing over the intervention period (time by treatment effect interaction p = .012). There were also larger improvements in adherence (2.16 points; 95% CI: 0.33-3.99), reductions in anxiety (0.96 points; 95% CI: 0.19-1.73), and a greater proportion engaging in beneficial physical activity (Odds Ratio 1.91, 95%CI: 1.01-3.61) in the iCBT participants but no effect upon disability, or walking time/day. There were no withdrawals due to study related adverse events. In people with mild to moderate depression and high levels of CVD risk factors, a freely accessible iCBT programme (http://www.ecouch.anu.edu.au) produced a small, but robust, improvement in depressive symptoms, adherence and some health behaviours. Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12610000085077.PLoS ONE 03/2013; 8(3):e59139. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0059139