Internet Cognitive Behavioral Therapy With or Without Face-to-Face Psychotherapy: A 12-Weeks Clinical Trial of Patients With Depression

Katrin Rauen, Stefan Vetter, Amanda Eisele, Ewelina Biskup, Aba Delsignore, Michael Rufer, Steffi Weidt
Depressive disorders are a curable, global health problem. However, most patients remain untreated, and more and more patients use internet-based interventions, but it is unclear whether it is beneficial for ongoing face-to-face psychotherapy. Thus, we compared the outcome of internet cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) with (ICBT+) or without (ICBT) additional face-to-face outpatient psychotherapy in adult patients with moderate to severe depressive disorder. For this longitudinal
more » ... l clinical trial (NCT02112266), 168 of 252 online recruited adults with depressive symptoms received ICBT+ (n = 96) or ICBT (n = 72). Demographics (sex, age, age at first depressive episode, years of education, duration of depressive symptoms) were assessed and compared between groups. All patients underwent ICBT for 12 weeks. Quality of life (QoL) and severity of depressive symptoms were assessed within each group at three time points [baseline (T0), postinterventional after ICBT at 12 weeks (T1), and for follow-up at 6 months (T2)] using the World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF) global score to assess QoL as primary and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) to assess self-rated depressive symptoms as secondary outcome variables, respectively. Differences were assessed between groups using t test and over time using repeated-measures analysis of variance. Data of intention-to-treat analysis are given as mean ± SD. Group differences were assumed at p < 0.05. Partial 2 is given as effect size. Demographic data, QoL, and depressive symptoms did not differ between groups (ICBT+/ICBT) at baseline (T0). Patients of both groups suffered from moderate to severe depressive disorders and gained improved QoL scores (WHOQOL-BREF-global: p < 0.001, 2 = 0.16), as well as experienced decreased depressive symptoms (BDI-II: p < 0.001, 2 = 0.2) after 12 weeks of ICBT compared to baseline. Patients without additional face-to-face outpatient psychotherapy lost QoL-albeit not significant-and had increased depressive symptoms (BDI: p = 0.02, 2 = 0.04) at 6 months' follow-up. Thus, ICBT is suitable for psychiatric treatment, although additional face-to-face outpatient psychotherapy helps stabilizing long-term outcome.
doi:10.5167/uzh-199973 fatcat:cjtzxbesgzd4flcbsnjvwo3oaq