Effectiveness and acceptance of a web-based depression intervention during waiting time for outpatient psychotherapy: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Sasha Denise Grünzig, Harald Baumeister, Jürgen Bengel, David Ebert, Lena Krämer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Due to limited resources, waiting periods for psychotherapy are often long and burdening for those in need of treatment and the health care system. In order to bridge the gap between initial contact and the beginning of psychotherapy, web-based interventions can be applied. The implementation of a web-based depression intervention during waiting periods has the potential to reduce depressive symptoms and enhance well-being in depressive individuals waiting for psychotherapy. Methods: In a two-arm randomized controlled trial, effectiveness and acceptance of a guided web-based intervention for depressive individuals on a waitlist for psychotherapy are evaluated. Participants are recruited in several German outpatient clinics. All those contacting the outpatient clinics with the wish to enter psychotherapy receive study information and a depression screening. Those adults (age≥18) with depressive symptoms above cut-off (CES-D scale >22) and internet access are randomized to either intervention condition (treatment as usual and immediate access to the web-based intervention) or waiting control condition (treatment as usual and delayed access to the web-based intervention). At three points of assessment (baseline, post-treatment, 3-months-follow-up) depressive symptoms and secondary outcomes, such as quality of life, attitudes towards psychotherapy and web-based interventions and adverse events are assessed. Additionally, participants' acceptance of the web-based intervention is evaluated, using measures of intervention adherence and satisfaction. Discussion: This study investigates a relevant setting for the implementation of web-based interventions, potentially improving the provision of psychological health care. The results of this study contribute to the evaluation of innovative and resource-preserving health care models for outpatient psychological treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number285
JournalTrials
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 May 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Depression
  • E-health
  • Internet
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Psychological health care
  • Psychotherapy
  • Waiting time
  • Waitlist
  • Web-based intervention

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