Increasing the acceptance of internet-based mental health interventions in primary care patients with depressive symptoms. A randomized controlled trial

J Affect Disord. 2015 May 1:176:9-17. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2015.01.056. Epub 2015 Feb 2.


Background: Internet-based interventions (IBI) are effective in treating depression. However, uptake rates in routine care are still limited. Hence, this study aimed to (1) assess the acceptance of IBIs in primary care patients with depressive symptoms and to (2) examine the effects of a brief acceptance facilitating intervention in the form of an informational video on patients' acceptance of IBIs.

Methods: Primary care patients (N=128) with Minor or Major Depression were randomly assigned to an intervention (IG) or control group (CG). Patients in the IG were shown a brief informational video about IBIs before receiving a questionnaire that assessed their acceptance of IBIs and other secondary outcomes. Patients of the CG filled out the questionnaire immediately.

Results: Baseline acceptance of IBIs in the CG was high for 6.3%, moderate for 53.1% and low for 40.6% of patients. Acceptance of IBIs was significantly higher in the IG when compared to the CG (d=.71, 95%-CI:.09-2.91). Except for social influence and the general attitude towards psychological treatment, all secondary outcomes were also significantly improved (e.g. effort- (d=.40) and performance-expectancy: d=.65; knowledge about Internet interventions d=.35).

Limitations: Depression of the participants was only assessed using a self-report measure (PHQ-9).

Conclusion: Primary care patients' acceptance of IBIs for depressive symptoms was low but could be increased significantly using a brief acceptance facilitating intervention on the basis of an informational video. Future studies should further examine the potential of acceptance facilitating interventions for patients and health care providers to exploit the public health impact of IBIs.

Keywords: Acceptance; Depression; Implementation; Internet-based intervention; Randomized-controlled trial; e-health.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Mental Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome