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Mental health and functional difficulties are highly comorbid across neurological disorders, but supportive care options are limited. This randomised controlled trial assessed the efficacy of a novel transdiagnostic internet-delivered psychological intervention for adults with neurological disorders.
221 participants with a confirmed diagnosis of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, or an acquired brain injury were allocated to either an immediate treatment group (n = 115) or treatment-as-usual waitlist control (n = 106). The intervention, the Wellbeing Neuro Course, was delivered online via the eCentreClinic website. The Course includes six lessons, based on cognitive behavioural therapy, delivered over 10 weeks with support from a psychologist via email and telephone. Primary outcomes were symptoms of depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7) and disability (WHODAS 2.0).
215 participants commenced the trial (treatment n = 111; control n = 104) and were included in intention-to-treat analysis. At post-treatment, we observed significant between-group differences in depression (PHQ-9; difference = 3.07 [95% CI 2.04–4.11], g = 0.62), anxiety (GAD-7; difference = 1.87 [0.92–2.81], g = 0.41) and disability (WHODAS 2.0 difference = 3.08 [1.09–5.06], g = 0.31), that favoured treatment (all ps < 0.001). Treatment-related effects were maintained at 3-month follow-up. Findings were achieved with minimal clinician time (average of 95.7 min [s.d. = 59.3] per participant), highlighting the public health potential of this approach to care. No adverse treatment events were reported.
Internet-delivered psychological interventions could be a suitable model of accessible supportive care for patients with neurological disorders.
Symptoms of anxiety and depression are prevalent in older adults.
To compare clinician-guided and self-guided versions of a transdiagnostic
internet-delivered cognitive–behavioural therapy (iCBT) intervention for
adults aged 60 years and above.
Adults (n=433) with symptoms of anxiety and depression
were randomly allocated to: (1) clinician-guided treatment
(n=153); (2) initial clinician interview followed by
self-guided treatment (n=140); or (3) self-guided
treatment without interview (n=140).
Large reductions (d ≥1.00) in symptoms of depression and
anxiety were observed across groups, and sustained at follow-up. No
differences were observed in clinical outcomes or satisfaction ratings.
Age did not affect outcomes.
Carefully developed iCBT interventions may significantly reduce symptoms
of anxiety and depression in older adults when delivered in either
clinician-guided or self-guided formats.
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