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Contemp Clin Trials. 2013 Nov;36(2):327-37. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2013.08.005. Epub 2013 Aug 23.

Supportive monitoring and disease management through the internet: an internet-delivered intervention strategy for recurrent depression.

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  • 1Center for Psychotherapy Research, University of Heidelberg, Bergheimer Str. 54, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address:


Major depression is a highly prevalent, disabling disorder associated with loss of quality of life and large economic burden for the society. Depressive disorders often follow a chronic or recurrent course. The risk of relapses increases with each additional episode. The internet-deliverable intervention strategy SUMMIT (SUpportive Monitoring and Disease Management over the InTernet) for patients with recurrent depression has been developed with the main objectives to prolong symptom-free phases and to shorten symptom-loaden phases. This paper describes the study design of a six-sites, three-arm, randomized clinical trial intended to evaluate the efficacy of this novel strategy compared to treatment as usual (TAU). Two hundred thirty six patients who had been treated for their (at least) third depressive episode in one of the six participating psychiatric centers were randomized into one of three groups: 1) TAU plus a twelve-month SUMMIT program participation with personal support or 2) TAU plus a twelve-month SUMMIT program participation without personal support, or 3) TAU alone. Primary outcome of this study is defined as the number of "well weeks" over 24months after index treatment assessed by blind evaluators based on the Longitudinal Interval Follow-Up Evaluation. If efficacious, the low monetary and nonmonetary expenditures of this automated, yet individualized intervention may open new avenues for providing an acceptable, convenient, and affordable long-term disease management strategy to people with a chronic mental condition such as recurrent depression.

© 2013.


Disease management; E-health; Internet; Recurrent depression; Supportive monitoring

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