Background and aims: The efficacy and effectiveness of a computerized cognitive behavioural therapy (CCBT) package, Beating the Blues, has been demonstrated in a large randomized controlled trial and several pragmatic studies in the National Health Service (NHS). The current study tests the generalizability of this finding to the implementation of CCBT in a service user-led, third sector Self Help Clinic.
Method: 510 referrals for the Beating the Blues program were received over a 16 month period in routine care. The Patient Health Questionnaire Depression (PHQ-9) and Anxiety (GAD-7) Scales were administered pre-treatment and during each treatment session. The 10-item Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation-Outcome Measure (CORE-OM), Work and Social Adjustment Scale and Patient Experience Questionnaire were also administered pre-treatment and immediately on completing treatment.
Results: More than two-thirds of referrals were suitable for treatment and completed a baseline assessment; 84% of these started the Beating the Blues program. Two-hundred and twenty-six people meeting caseness criteria at baseline completed at least two sessions of CCBT. Of these, 50% met recovery criteria at their final point of measurement. Completer and intention-to-treat analysis also demonstrated statistically and clinically significant improvements on key outcome measures.
Conclusion: CCBT can be effectively implemented in a service user-led, third sector Self Help Clinic, increasing access to psychological therapies to meet local needs for tier two interventions for depression and anxiety.