Telephone-supported computerised cognitive–behavioural therapy: REEACT-2 large-scale pragmatic randomised controlled trial

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Abstract

Background

Computerised cognitive–behavioural therapy (cCBT) for depression has the potential to be efficient therapy but engagement is poor in primary care trials.

Aims

We tested the benefits of adding telephone support to cCBT.

Method

We compared telephone-facilitated cCBT (MoodGYM) (n = 187) to minimally supported cCBT (MoodGYM) (n = 182) in a pragmatic randomised trial (trial registration: ISRCTN55310481). Outcomes were depression severity (Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (GAD)-7) and somatoform complaints (PHQ-15) at 4 and 12 months.

Results

Use of cCBT increased by a factor of between 1.5 and 2 with telephone facilitation. At 4 months PHQ-9 scores were 1.9 points lower (95% CI 0.5–3.3) for telephone-supported cCBT. At 12 months, the results were no longer statistically significant (0.9 PHQ-9 points, 95% CI −0.5 to 2.3). There was improvement in anxiety scores and for somatic complaints.

Conclusions

Telephone facilitation of cCBT improves engagement and expedites depression improvement. The effect was small to moderate and comparable with other low-intensity psychological interventions.

Declaration of interest

None.

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