Efficacy of low-intensity psychological intervention applied by ICTs for the treatment of depression in primary care: a controlled trial

BMC Psychiatry. 2015 May 7;15:106. doi: 10.1186/s12888-015-0475-0.

Abstract

Background: Depression is one of the most common disorders in Psychiatric and Primary Care settings and is associated with significant disability and economic costs. Low-intensity psychological interventions applied by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) could be an efficacious and cost-effective therapeutic option for the treatment of depression. The aim of this study is to assess 3 low-intensity psychological interventions applied by ICTs (healthy lifestyle, positive affect and mindfulness) in Primary Care; significant efficacy for depression treatment has previously showed in specialized clinical settings by those interventions, but ICTs were not used.

Method: Multicenter controlled randomized clinical trial in 4 parallel groups. Interventions have been designed and on-line device adaptation has been carried out. Subsequently, the randomized controlled clinical trial will be conducted. A sample of N = 240 mild and moderate depressed patients will be recruited and assessed in Primary Care settings. Patients will be randomly assigned to a) healthy lifestyle psychoeducational program + improved primary care usual treatment (ITAU), b) focused program on positive affect promotion + ITAU c) mindfulness + ITAU or d) ITAU. The intervention format will be one face to face session and four ICTs on-line modules. Patients will be diagnosed with MINI psychiatric interview. Main outcome will be PHQ-9 score. They will be also assessed by SF-12 Health Survey, Client Service Receipt Inventory, EuroQoL-5D questionnaire, Positive and Negative Affect Scale, Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire and the Pemberton Happiness Index. Patients will be assessed at baseline, post, 6 and 12 post-treatment months. An intention to treat and per protocol analysis will be performed.

Discussion: Low-intensity psychological interventions applied by Information and Communication Technologies have been not used before in Spain and could be an efficacious and cost-effective therapeutic option for depression treatment. The strength of the study is that it is the first multicenter controlled randomized clinical trial of three low intensity and self-guided interventions applied by ICTs (healthy lifestyle psychoeducational program; focused program on positive affect promotion and brief intervention based on mindfulness) in Primary Care settings.

Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN82388279 . Registered 16 April 2014.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted*
  • Young Adult

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN82388279