Research projects

Mood Mechanic: An open-trial, randomised controlled trial, and pragmatic evaluation of an internet-delivered intervention for reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety in young adults aged 18-24 years

Principal researchers

Professor Nick Titov

Dr Blake F. Dear

Dr Vincent J. Fogliati

Mr Matthew Terides

Dr Milena Gandy

Dr Lauren Staples

Dr Luke Johnston

Institution

Macquarie University

Funding

$315,340

Award type

National Priority Driven Research

Project completion year

2016

Project brief

The project involved three sequential trials. The first clinical trial was a small single-group feasibility trial designed to determine the acceptability and potential effectiveness of the Mood Mechanic Course. The results of this first trial (n = 18) were very encouraging with very positive feedback from participants and evidence of good clinical outcomes.

The second clinical trial was a large randomised controlled trial (n = 192), which aimed to examine the acceptability and efficacy of the Mood Mechanic Course when offered in two formats: (1) with regular clinician contact via phone and email throughout the course; and (2) in a self-guided format without regular clinician contact via phone or email. In both formats participants received an initial ‘preparatory’ assessment and telephone discussion to ensure they knew how to work through and get the most out of the course. All participants were also monitored throughout the course. The results of this trial were also very encouraging with similarly excellent levels of acceptability and clinical improvements observed for both formats.

The third trial was a large single-group real-world implementation trial (n > 470; recruitment ongoing), which aimed to examine the acceptability and effectiveness of the Mood Mechanic Course when offered as a routine service by a national online mental health clinic, the MindSpot Clinic (www.mindspot.org.au). This trial is ongoing. However, the available data indicate that, consistent with the findings of the research trials conducted at the team’s specialist research unit (www.ecentreclinic.org), the Mood Mechanic Course is highly acceptable and clinically effective when administered in a routine service to high volumes of young adults with anxiety and depression.

The next steps include: (1) the ongoing provision of the Mood Mechanic Course via the MindSpot Clinic; (2) the ongoing collection of long-term follow-up data from participants in Trial 2 and the subsequent publication of the findings from this trial; (3) the formal evaluation of the Mood Mechanic Course when offered as a routine service via the MindSpot Clinic and the subsequent publication of the findings; and (3) the exploration of the collected data to inform the optimal provision and integration of the Mood Mechanic Course and similar treatments into the routine health care provided to young Australians with anxiety and depression.

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Download the final report

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