Research projects

Telephone cognitive behaviour therapy for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Principal researchers

Dr Colleen Doyle1
Professor David Ames1
Professor David Dunt2


1 National Ageing Research Institute
2 Centre for Health Policy Programs & Economics, the University of Melbourne



Award type

Beyond Blue Victorian Centre of Excellence

Project completion year


Project brief

This research projects aims to evaluate the effect of telephone-administered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) on outcomes for clients with diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are referred to outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation clinics and assessed as having at least mild to moderate levels of depression and/or anxiety.

Anticipated practical outcomes, community benefits

Under-diagnosis and under-treatment are considerable in Australian management of COPD. There are few powerful RCT studies of CBT treatment of anxiety and depression associated with COPD. There have been no studies published of the use of telephone CBT to treat anxiety and depression in people with COPD, so this is the first trial of telephone CBT with these patients in Australia. The results will be disseminated, through academic and clinical channels, using the dissemination strategy set up through the steering committee for the project.

The project has the potential to change practice guidelines in the treatment of COPD and, most importantly, to improve the mental health and quality of life of these patients. The result also has the potential to improve secondary outcomes such as admission to acute hospital with resulting reduction in health costs.

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