Newby JM, Mackenzie A, Williams AD, et al. Psychological Medicine. 2013. 43(12): 2635-2648. PMID: 23419552.
Summary: This article reports on the results of two studies examining the efficacy of the Depression and Anxiety Program. The first study was a randomized controlled trial comparing the Depression and Anxiety Program to a waitlist control group. Individuals awaiting access to online cognitive behavioral therapy were eligible for participation. In addition, online advertisements were used to recruit new participants. Individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and/or depression were randomized (n=135). Depression, GAD, and psychological distress were assessed pre-treatment, post-treatment, and at a 3-month follow-up. Overall, 89% of the Depression and Anxiety Program group completed all 6 lessons. At the post-treatment assessment, participants getting the Depression and Anxiety Program had significantly larger decreases in depressive symptoms, GAD symptoms, and psychological distress compare to the waitlist control group. These reductions were sustained at the 3-month follow-up.
The second study reported on the outcomes of the Depression and Anxiety Program in a primary care setting. Clinicians in Australia (n=1,800) were able to prescribe the Depression and Anxiety Program to their patients with depression and/or GAD. In total, 136 primary care patients were referred to the program. Psychiatric symptoms were measured pre- and post-treatment. Although only 41% of participants completed all six sessions, there were still significant reductions in anxiety, depression, and psychological distress from pre- to post-treatment.
Take Away: The Depression and Anxiety Program is more effective than no treatment for depression and/or GAD. Additionally, this program is acceptable and potentially efficacious for primary care patients with mixed depression and anxiety.