Research projects

The Emotional Wellbeing Program: The development, evaluation and delivery of two internet-based education programs for anxiety and depression for older adults

Principal researchers

Dr Nickolai Titov

Institution

Macquarie University

Funding

$560,020

Award type

beyondblue grant

Project completion year

2014

Main messages

  • Australia’s ageing population will place unprecedented demands on health care services, including mental health services. Innovative treatment solutions are required to reduce barriers to treatment for older adults with anxiety and depression.
  • Internet-delivered mental health services offer a unique opportunity for improving access to evidence-based mental health services across all ages.
  • The results of this research project clearly indicate that older adults can obtain large and clinically significant benefits from internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT). This challenges beliefs that low mood and worry are a normal part of aging, and challenges beliefs that older adults cannot benefit from psychological treatment.
  • The iCBT interventions evaluated in this project are highly cost-effective relative to existing face to face delivered services. The interventions are highly acceptable to older adults. Most participants completed the interventions and >95% reported they would recommend the treatment to a friend.
  • The results from the Wellbeing Plus Course were replicated in a national online mental health service, the MindSpot Clinic, delivered as part of routine care. The Wellbeing Plus Course will continue to be successfully disseminated at the MindSpot Clinic.
  • iCBT for older adults with anxiety and depression represents an important opportunity for reducing the burden experienced by this vulnerable sector of society. Such services allow older adults to improve their quality of life and continue to participate and contribute as active members of society.

 Download the final report

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