Feasibility of digital cognitive behavioral therapy for depressed older adults with the moodbuster platform: Protocol for 2 pilot feasibility studies

Khadicha Amarti, Mieke H J Schulte, Annet Kleiboer, Claire Rosalie Van Genugten, Mardien Oudega, Caroline Sonnenberg, Gonçalo C Gonçalves, Artur Rocha, Heleen Riper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Internet-based interventions can be effective in the treatment of depression. However, internet-based interventions for older adults with depression are scarce, and little is known about their feasibility and effectiveness. Objective: To present the design of 2 studies aiming to assess the feasibility of internet-based cognitive behavioral treatment for older adults with depression. We will assess the feasibility of an online, guided version of the Moodbuster platform among depressed older adults from the general population as well as the feasibility of a blended format (combining integrated face-to-face sessions and internet-based modules) in a specialized mental health care outpatient clinic. Methods: A single-group, pretest-posttest design will be applied in both settings. The primary outcome of the studies will be feasibility in terms of (1) acceptance and satisfaction (measured with the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire-8), (2) usability (measured with the System Usability Scale), and (3) engagement (measured with the Twente Engagement with eHealth Technologies Scale). Secondary outcomes include (1) the severity of depressive symptoms (measured with the 8-item Patient Health Questionnaire depression scale), (2) participant and therapist experience with the digital technology (measured with qualitative interviews), (3) the working alliance between patients and practitioners (from both perspectives; measured with the Working Alliance Inventory-Short Revised questionnaire), (4) the technical alliance between patients and the platform (measured with the Working Alliance Inventory for Online Interventions-Short Form questionnaire), and (5) uptake, in terms of attempted and completed modules. A total of 30 older adults with mild to moderate depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale 15 score between 5 and 11) will be recruited from the general population. A total of 15 older adults with moderate to severe depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale 15 score between 8 and 15) will be recruited from a specialized mental health care outpatient clinic. A mixed methods approach combining quantitative and qualitative analyses will be adopted. Both the primary and secondary outcomes will be further explored with individual semistructured interviews and synthesized descriptively. Descriptive statistics (reported as means and SDs) will be used to examine the primary and secondary outcome measures. Within-group depression severity will be analyzed using a 2-tailed, paired-sample t test to investigate differences between time points. The interviews will be recorded and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: The studies were funded in October 2019. Recruitment started in September 2022. Conclusions: The results of these pilot studies will show whether this platform is feasible for use by the older adult population in a blended, guided format in the 2 settings and will represent the first exploration of the size of the effect of Moodbuster in terms of decreased depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere41445
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Volume11
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

©Khadicha Amarti, Mieke H J Schulte, Annet Kleiboer, Claire Rosalie Van Genugten, Mardien Oudega, Caroline Sonnenberg, Gonçalo C Gonçalves, Artur Rocha, Heleen Riper. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (https://www.researchprotocols.org), 25.10.2022.

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