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Transdiagnostic, Psychodynamic Web-Based Self-Help Intervention Following Inpatient Psychotherapy: Results of a Feasibility Study and Randomized Controlled Trial.
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany.
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Center for Courageous Living, Los Angeles, CA, United States.
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2017 (English)In: JMIR mental health, ISSN 2368-7959, Vol. 4, no 4, article id e41Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Mental disorders have become a major health issue, and a substantial number of afflicted individuals do not get appropriate treatment. Web-based interventions are promising supplementary tools for improving health care for patients with mental disorders, as they can be delivered at low costs and used independently of time and location. Although psychodynamic treatments are used frequently in the face-to-face setting, there has been a paucity of studies on psychodynamic Web-based self-help interventions.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a transdiagnostic affect-focused psychodynamic Web-based self-help intervention designed to increase emotional competence of patients with mental disorders.

METHODS: A total of 82 psychotherapy inpatients with mixed diagnoses were randomized into two groups. Following discharge, the intervention group (IG) got access to a guided version of the intervention for 10 weeks. After a waiting period of 10 weeks, the wait-list control group (WLCG) got access to an unguided version of the intervention. We reported the assessments at the beginning (T0) and at the end of the intervention, resp. the waiting period (T1). The primary outcome was satisfaction with the treatment at T1. Secondary outcome measures included emotional competence, depression, anxiety, and quality of life. Statistical analyses were performed with descriptive statistics (primary outcome) and analysis of covariance; a repeated measurement analysis of variance was used for the secondary outcomes. Effect sizes were calculated using Cohen d and data were analyzed as per protocol, as well as intention-to-treat (ITT).

RESULTS: Patients were chronically ill, diagnosed with multiple diagnoses, most frequently with depression (84%, 58/69), anxiety (68%, 47/69), personality disorder (38%, 26/69), and depersonalization-derealization disorder (22%, 15/69). A majority of the patients (86%, 36/42) logged into the program, of which 86% (31/36) completed the first unit. Satisfaction with the units mastered was rated as good (52%, 16/31) and very good (26%, 9/31). However, there was a steady decline of participation over the course of the program; only 36% of the participants (13/36) participated throughout the trial completing at least 50% of the sessions. According to the ITT analysis, participants improved statistically significantly and with moderate effect sizes (Cohen d) compared with the WLCG regarding depression (d=0.60), quality of life (d=0.53), and emotional competence (d=0.49). Effects were considerably stronger for the completers with respect to depression (d=1.33), quality of life (d=0.83), emotional competence (d=0.68), and general anxiety (d=0.62).

CONCLUSIONS: Although overall program satisfaction and benefit of the program were favorable with respect to the indicators of emotional disorders, the rate of completion was low. Our findings point to the need to target the intervention more specifically to the needs and capabilities of participants and to the context of the intervention.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02671929; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02671929 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6ntWg1yWb).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Toronto, Canada: J M I R Publications, Inc. , 2017. Vol. 4, no 4, article id e41
Keywords [en]
Internet, aftercare, clinical trial, emotion-focused therapy, inpatients, psychoanalytic psychotherapy
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-143856DOI: 10.2196/mental.7889ISI: 000414983000009PubMedID: 29038094OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-143856DiVA, id: diva2:1168775
Available from: 2017-12-21 Created: 2017-12-21 Last updated: 2018-01-26Bibliographically approved

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