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Age may moderate response to different unguided Internet-delivered interventions for depression

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Question: What are the predictors and moderators of response to Internet-delivered interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for depression?

Patients: In total, 1843 adults aged 18 or older who spontaneously visited an automated Internet-delivered self-help program (e-couch) and who were not receiving treatment for depression from a mental health specialist.

Setting: Internet-based program, October 2009 to October 2010.

Intervention: A 4-week program on Internet-delivered CBT (n=610), Internet-delivered IPT (n=620) or active control (MoodGYM; n=613). The CBT intervention explained the rationale of CBT and covered identifying and tackling negative thoughts and undertaking behavioural activation. The IPT intervention consisted of four modules: grief, role disputes, role transition and interpersonal deficits. MoodGYM covered the identification of and behavioural methods to overcome dysfunctional thinking, assertiveness and self-esteem training.

Outcomes: Self-reported depression symptoms, assessed using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CES-D)

Patient follow-up: Thirty per cent of participants completed immediately post-test and 28% completed the 6-month follow-up. Drop-out rates were higher with MoodGYM (n=451; 35%) than with CBT (n=429; 33%) and …

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  • Sources of funding: Centre for Mental Health Research at The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia; the Faculty of Psychology and Education of the VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


  • Competing interests None.

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