A randomized controlled trial of the computerized CBT programme, MoodGYM, for public mental health service users waiting for interventions

Br J Clin Psychol. 2014 Nov;53(4):433-50. doi: 10.1111/bjc.12055. Epub 2014 May 15.


Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of the computerized CBT (cCBT) programme, MoodGYM, for the reduction in symptoms of general psychological distress (the primary outcome), depression, anxiety, stress, and impaired daily functioning.

Design: A randomized controlled trial, with a waiting list control condition, in a routine clinical setting.

Methods: Participants were 149 public mental health service users (aged 18-61 [M = 35.3 years; SD = 10.3]) waiting for interventions. Self-report outcome measures were administered online at baseline and post-intervention (i.e., after 32 days).

Results: After high dropout rates, a post-intervention completers analysis examined 28 MoodGYM participants and 38 waiting list control participants. MoodGYM was significantly more effective than the waiting list control for the reduction of symptoms of general psychological distress (F[1, 64] = 4.45; p < .05) and stress (F[1, 64] = 5.35; p < .05) but not depression, anxiety, or impaired daily functioning.

Conclusions: Due to their high associated dropout rates, self-help cCBT programmes such as MoodGYM should not be provided as front-line treatments. However, as it is likely to be agreeable and beneficial to some service users, perhaps self-help cCBT should be provided as an additional treatment option.

Keywords: Computerized CBT; Internet-delivered therapy; moodGYM; stepped care.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Population Surveillance
  • Program Evaluation
  • Software*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Waiting Lists
  • Young Adult