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Supportive Text Messages for Patients with Depression – A Randomized Controlled Trial

  • V. Agyapong (a1), M. Juhas (a1), A. Ohinmaa (a2), J. Omeje (a3), K. Mrklas (a4), V. Suen (a5), S. Dursun (a1) and A. Greenshaw (a1)...

Abstract

Background

Depression is projected to be the primary cause of disability worldwide by 2030. Our aim was to test the feasibility of a supportive text messaging mobile health intervention in improving treatment outcomes in depressed patients.

Methods

We performed a single-rater-blinded randomised trial involving 73 patients with Major Depressive Disorder. Patients in the intervention group (n = 35) received twice-daily supportive text messages for 3 months while those in the control group (n = 38) received a single text message every fortnight thanking them for participating in the study.

Results

After adjusting for baseline BDI scores, a significant difference remained in the three month mean BDI scores between the intervention and control groups: (20.8 (SD = 11.7) vs. 24.9 (SD = 11.5), F (1, 60) = 4.83, P = 0.03, ηp2 = 0.07). The mean difference in the BDI scores change was significant with an effect size (Cohen's d) of 0.67. Furthermore, after adjusting for baseline scores, a significant difference remained in the three month mean self-rated VAS scores (EQ-5D-5L scale) between the intervention and control groups, 65.7 (SD = 15.3) vs. 57.4 (SD = 22.9), F (1, 60) = 4.16, P = 0.05, ηp2 = 0.065. The mean difference in change mean self-rated VAS scores was also statistically significant with an effect size (Cohen's d) of 0.51.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that supportive text messages are a potentially useful psychological intervention for depression, especially in underserved populations. Further studies are needed to explore the implications of our findings in larger clinical samples.

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Supportive Text Messages for Patients with Depression – A Randomized Controlled Trial

  • V. Agyapong (a1), M. Juhas (a1), A. Ohinmaa (a2), J. Omeje (a3), K. Mrklas (a4), V. Suen (a5), S. Dursun (a1) and A. Greenshaw (a1)...

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Supportive Text Messages for Patients with Depression – A Randomized Controlled Trial

  • V. Agyapong (a1), M. Juhas (a1), A. Ohinmaa (a2), J. Omeje (a3), K. Mrklas (a4), V. Suen (a5), S. Dursun (a1) and A. Greenshaw (a1)...
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