Treating anxiety and depression in older adults: Randomised controlled trial comparing guided V. Self-guided internet-delivered cognitive-behavioural therapy

Publication Type:
Journal Article
BJPsych Open, 2016, 2 (1), pp. 50 - 58
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© 2016 The Royal College of Psychiatrists. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licence. Background Symptoms of anxiety and depression are prevalent in older adults. Aims 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. Method 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). Results 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. Conclusions 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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