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PLoS One. 2013 Jul 3;8(7):e62873. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062873. Print 2013.

Improving adherence and clinical outcomes in self-guided internet treatment for anxiety and depression: randomised controlled trial.

Author information

1
Centre for Emotional Health, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. nick.titov@mq.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Depression and anxiety are common, disabling and chronic. Self-guided internet-delivered treatments are popular, but few people complete them. New strategies are required to realise their potential.

AIMS:

To evaluate the effect of automated emails on the effectiveness, safety, and acceptability of a new automated transdiagnostic self-guided internet-delivered treatment, the Wellbeing Course, for people with depression and anxiety.

METHOD:

A randomised controlled trial was conducted through the website: www.ecentreclinic.org. Two hundred and fifty seven people with elevated symptoms were randomly allocated to the 8 week course either with or without automated emails, or to a waitlist control group. Primary outcome measures were the Patient Health Questionnaire 9-Item (PHQ-9) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item (GAD-7).

RESULTS:

Participants in the treatment groups had lower PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores at post-treatment than controls. Automated emails increased rates of course completion (58% vs. 35%), and improved outcomes in a subsample with elevated symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS:

The new self-guided course was beneficial, and automated emails facilitated outcomes. Further attention to strategies that facilitate adherence, learning, and safety will help realise the potential of self-guided interventions.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12610001058066.

PMID:
23843932
PMCID:
PMC3701078
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0062873
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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