Prevention of depressive symptoms through the use of distance technologies

Psychiatr Serv. 2003 Mar;54(3):396-8. doi: 10.1176/


Psychoeducational materials can be disseminated at minimal expense through the use of distance technologies, offering an opportunity for prevention. The objective of this project was to develop and evaluate a psychoeducational computer program designed to prevent depressive symptoms. The program was accessible through the Internet or by touch-tone telephone. A total of 786 participants were randomly assigned either to the preventive intervention or to an information-only control condition. Over a three-month follow-up period, no differences between the groups were observed. However, three of the target variables (cognitive style, activity level, and sleep quality) were found to be strong predictors of whether a participant had an episode of major depression during the follow-up period.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alberta
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods*
  • Depression / physiopathology
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Education, Distance / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Telecommunications