Research projects

RCT of ePACT: A flexible treatment for depression and anxiety in adults living with chronic spinal cord injury

Principal researchers

Dr Christine Migliorini1
Dr Andrew Sinclair2
Dr Peter New3
Associate Professor Doug Brown4
Professor Bruce Tonge1


1 Monash University
2 Independence Australia
3 Caulfield Hospital
4 Victorian Spinal Cord Service



Award Type

beyondblue Victorian Centre of Excellence

Project completion year



Individuals with a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) are highly vulnerable to suffer from mental health problems and stress mainly in the form of anxiety and depression.

This study found electronically delivered psychological therapy to treat associated anxiety and mood disturbance experienced by many adults living with (SCI) is convenient, effective and cost efficient. The evidence based therapy developed specifically for adults with a SCI is named ePACT: electronic personal administration of cognitive therapy. 

Main messages

  • Standardised screening for mood disturbance in adults with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) should be a part of all health reviews irrespective of time since injury or previously demonstrated resilience because of the high prevalence of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
  • Mood disturbance often go undetected and further impairs quality of life yet is open to treatment.
  • Electronically delivered psychological therapy, supplemented with clinical support (by phone, email or in person) is a convenient, effective and cost efficient approach that will benefit many, especially those living in rural, regional and outer metropolitan areas or who have difficulty accessing help.
  • The benefit of mental health clinician support to supplement electronically delivered psychological therapy should not be underestimated.
  • While medical care is essential, face to face contact necessitated by appointments and tests imposes a heavy demand of time and effort on the resources of adults living with SCI.
  • The opportunity to work on improving wellbeing in the convenience of the home environment, is appreciated by individuals with a SCI.

Read the ​Randomised controlled trail of ePACT: a flexible treatment for depression and anxiety in adults living chronic spinal cord injury report.

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