Social group identification, socioeconomic deprivation, and a number of other clinical and demographic factors have been found to predict severity of psychological distress prior to treatment in those referred to receive computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT) as an intervention for mild to moderate depression. The aim of the current study is to investigate whether the same key factors are able to predict magnitude of change in psychological distress across treatment in a sample receiving cCBT. Participants (N = 1158) consisted of individuals completing the 'Beating the Blues' (BtB) programme. Participants completed three versions of the group identifications scale (GIS), one for each of three groups: family, community, and a social group of choice. Changes in psychological distress showed statistically significant improvements between pre- and post-treatment assessment in all outcome measure subscales. Significantly greater changes (reductions) in psychological distress were found in those who had more severe pre-treatment psychological distress, those who lived in a lesser state of socioeconomic deprivation, those who identified with more social groups, and those taking antidepressant medication (ADM) concurrently. These findings provide valuable information on the likely course of treatment in those receiving cCBT, and highlight both the potential of social group identification as a 'social cure' for poor psychological health and the inequalities of the socioeconomic health gradient.
Keywords: Changes in psychological distress; Computerised cognitive Behavioural therapy; SIMD; Social group identifications; Socioeconomic deprivation; cCBT.
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