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Tailored vs. Standardized Internet-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression and Comorbid Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
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2012 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 7, no 5Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background and Aims: Major depression can be treated by means of cognitive behavior therapy, delivered via the Internet as guided self-help. Individually tailored guided self-help treatments have shown promising results in the treatment of anxiety disorders. This randomized controlled trial tested the efficacy of an Internet-based individually tailored guided self-help treatment which specifically targeted depression with comorbid symptoms. The treatment was compared both to standardized (non-tailored) Internet-based treatment and to an active control group in the form of a monitored online discussion group. Both guided self-help treatments were based on cognitive behavior therapy and lasted for 10 weeks. The discussion group consisted of weekly discussion themes related to depression and the treatment of depression. Methods: A total of 121 participants with diagnosed major depressive disorder and with a range of comorbid symptoms were randomized to three groups. The tailored treatment consisted of a prescribed set of modules targeting depression as well as comorbid problems. The standardized treatment was a previously tested guided self-help program for depression. Results: From pre-treatment to post-treatment, both treatment groups improved on measures of depression, anxiety and quality of life. The results were maintained at a 6-month follow-up. Subgroup analyses showed that the tailored treatment was more effective than the standardized treatment among participants with higher levels of depression at baseline and more comorbidity, both in terms of reduction of depressive symptoms and on recovery rates. In the subgroup with lower baseline scores of depression, few differences were seen between treatments and the discussion group. Conclusions: This study shows that tailored Internet-based treatment for depression is effective and that addressing comorbidity by tailoring may be one way of making guided self-help treatments more effective than standardized approaches in the treatment of more severe depression.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public Library of Science , 2012. Vol. 7, no 5
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79824DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036905ISI: 000305336300049OAI: diva2:544412
Available from: 2012-08-14 Created: 2012-08-14 Last updated: 2014-11-28
In thesis
1. Treating depression and its comorbidity: From individualized Internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy to affect-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Treating depression and its comorbidity: From individualized Internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy to affect-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Att behandla depression och dess komorbiditet : Från individanpassad internetbaserad kognitiv beteendeterapi till affektfokuserad psykodynamisk psykoterapi
Abstract [en]

The overarching goal of this thesis has been to enhance Internet-delivered psychological treatments for depression and its comorbidity. To this end, three randomized controlled trials (Study II, III and IV) with a total of 313 participants were conducted. A prevalence study (Study I) was also conducted to provide an up-to-date estimate of the prevalence of depression, anxiety disorders, and their comorbidity in the Swedish general population.

Study I showed that more than every sixth individual in Sweden suffers from symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. Comorbidity between depression and anxiety was substantial and associated with higher symptom burden and lower health-related quality of life. Study II showed that a tailored Internet-based CBT protocol (ICBT) was effective in reducing symptoms of depression when compared to a control group. Among individuals with more severe depression and comorbidities, the tailored ICBT treatment worked better than standardized ICBT. Study III showed that a psychodynamic Internet-based psychotherapy was highly effective in the treatment of depression, when compared to a group who received psychoeducation and online support. In Study IV, an Internet-delivered affect-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy proved to have a large effect on depression and a moderately large effect on anxiety disorders.

In conclusion, this thesis shows that in the context of treating depression and its comorbidity, Internet-delivered psychological treatments can be potentially enhanced by psychodynamic psychotherapy and by individualization.

Abstract [sv]

Det övergripande syftet med denna avhandling har varit att vidareutveckla internetbaserad psykologisk behandling för depression och dess komorbiditet. Tre randomiserade kontrollerade studier (Studie II, III och IV) med totalt 313 deltagare genomfördes i linje med detta syfte. En prevalensstudie (Studie I) genomfördes också för att tillhandahålla ett uppdaterat estimat av prevalensen av depression, ångest och deras komorbiditet i Sverige.

Studie I visade att mer än var sjätte individ i Sverige lider av symptom på depression och/eller ångest. Det fanns påtaglig komorbiditet mellan depression och ångest, vilket var associerat med högre symptombörda och lägre livskvalitét. Studie II visade att en skräddarsydd internetbaserad KBT-behandling var effektiv för att reducera symptom på depression, i jämförelse med en kontrollgrupp. Bland individer med svårare depression och komorbiditet, fungerade den skräddarsydda interventionen bättre än en standardiserad. Studie III visade att psykodynamisk internetbehandling var effektiv vid behandling av depression, i jämförelse med en grupp som fick psykoedukation och stödsamtal online. I Studie IV visades att en affektfokuserad psykodynamisk internetbehandling hade stor effekt vad gällde att reducera symptom på depression, och medelstor effekt vad gällde att reducera symptom på ångest.

Sammanfattningsvis visar denna avhandling att internetbaserad psykologisk behandling kan potentiellt vidareutvecklas av psykodynamisk psykoterapi och individanpassning, vid behandling av depression och dess komorbiditet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 104 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 596Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 179
Depression, comorbidity, psychological treatment, psychotherapy, Internet, Internet-delivered treatment, cognitive behavior therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, Depression, komorbiditet, psykologisk behandling, psykoterapi, Internet, internetbaserad behandling, kognitiv beteendeterapi, psykodynamisk psykoterapi
National Category
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100385 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-100385 (DOI)978-91-7519-467-7 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-12-06, VAL, Hus Vallfarten, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2013-11-04 Created: 2013-11-04 Last updated: 2014-11-28Bibliographically approved

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