PhD Scientific Days 2019

Budapest, April 25–26, 2019

IfightDepression - an effective low-intensity intervention for mild forms of depression – a pilot study

Varga, Anna

Anna Varga - ABC Terápia Budapest Private Psychotherapy Practice
Dr. Mónika Ditta Tóth – Semmelweis University Budapest Department of Behavioral Sciences
Dr. György Purebl - Semmelweis University Budapest Department of Behavioral Sciences

Language of the presentation


Text of the abstract

Introduction: Computerized cognitive behavior therapy (cCBT) for mild forms of depression is an effective intervention that reduces the burden on mental health care systems worldwide and provides an additional self-help tool for patients. The iFightDepression (IFD) online self-help tool has been designed by European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD) in 16 different languages. For Hungarian patients IFD program is available since 2014 and helps them in reducing symptoms of mild forms of depression. The 6-week program has 6 modules based on methods of cognitive behavior therapy.

Aims: Evaluating the effectiveness of IFD self-help tool measured by symptom reduction. We also looked into effectiveness of IFD self-help tool in patients who worked with it all by themselves compared to the group of patients who had an additional weekly phone call from a professional to answer their questions while working in the IFD program.

Method: Participants diagnosed with mild forms of depression (n=102) were recruited in three intervention groups: 1. Treatment as usual (TAU); 2. TAU and IFD self-help tool; 3. TAU and IFD and an additional weekly phone call from a professional. Patients were recruited in Hungary by GP’s and psychiatrists. All of participants 28,4% were men, average age 39,4 years, SD=13,01 years. The symptoms of depression has been measeured pre- and post 6-week intervention by Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and short Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Symptoms of hopelessness has been measured by short Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS).

Results: Participants using IFD completed in average 3,8 (SD=2,20) modules. According to the results of two-way analysis of variance after the 6-week of using IFD program the depression rate has been reduced signifinantly (F(1,0; 97,0) = 64,873, p < 0,001). The type of intervention and the interaction of repetition has proven to be significant (F(2,00; 97,00) = 18,162, p < 0,001). The utmost improvement regarding depression symtom reduction was in the 3. Intervention group (TAU+IFD+phone call). The rate of hopelessness was also significantly reduced (F(1,0; 97,0) = 29,431, p < 0,001), and he type of intervention and the interaction of repetition has proven to be significant here as well (F(2,00; 97,00) = 4,260, p = 0,017). The utmost improvement has been also in the third intervention group (TAU+IFD+phone call).

Conclusion: The computerized cognitive behavior therapy can be an additional free self-help tool in treating mild forms of depression to patients who has no access to face-to-face psychotherapy either for material or distance reasons. The online self-help intervention is more effective if it is followed by weekly phone calls by a professional who provides patients with personalized help in using IFD program. Our results show that iFightDepression self-help tool can be an alternative and effective additional free tool in Hungarian GP and psychiatric health care facitities.

Key words: computerized cognitive behavior therapy, depression, iFightDepression

Data of the presenter

Doctoral School: Mental Health Sciences Doctoral School (Mentális Egészségtudományok)
Program: 4/2 - Mental Health Sciences
Supervisor: Dr. György Purebl
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