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Cogn Behav Ther. 2006;35(1):43-54.

Effects of a cognitive-behavioural internet program on depression, vulnerability to depression and stigma in adolescent males: a school-based controlled trial.

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1
School of Psychology, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia. richard.okearney@anu.edu.au

Abstract

This study evaluated the effectiveness of a cognitive behaviour therapy Internet program (MoodGYM) for depressive symptoms, attributional style, self-esteem and beliefs about depression, and on depression and depression-vulnerable status in male youth. A total of 78 boys age 15 and 16 years were allocated to either undertake MoodGYM or to standard personal development activities. Outcomes were measured before commencement, post-program and 16 weeks post-program. There were no significant between-group differences in change scores pre- to post- or pre- to follow-up using the intention to treat sample or for participants with post- and/or follow-up data. For boys completing 3 or more modules there were small relative benefits of MoodGYM for depressive symptoms (Effect Size, ES = 0.34), attributional style (ES = 0.17) and self-esteem (ES = 0.16) at post-program, although only the effect for self-esteem was sustained at follow-up. Both groups showed improvement in their beliefs about depression at follow-up, with the control group showing a moderate relative benefit (ES = 0.40). While the numbers are small, there was a reduction in the risk of being depressed in the MoodGYM group of 9% at post-treatment compared with a slightly increased risk for the control group. The risk of being classified as vulnerable to depression reduced by 17% in the MoodGYM group at post-treatment compared with no change in risk for the control group. These reductions in risk for the MoodGYM group were not sustained at follow-up. The limitations of the study highlight several important challenges for MoodGYM and other self-directed Internet cognitive behaviour therapy programs. These include how to ensure enough of the program is received and that people who could potentially benefit access the program and continue to remain engaged with it, and how to enhance the sustainability of any benefits.

PMID:
16500776
DOI:
10.1080/16506070500303456
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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