Find out more about The Journal at https://depression.org.nz/get-better/the-journal/

Project Background

Depression is common and disabling but the evidence is that fewer than half of people with depression seek any treatment and few receive any help from specialized mental health professionals.

In Canada, there are long wait lists to see mental health professionals face-to-face. If e-therapies can be shown to be acceptable, feasible and effective there is no reason why these computerized therapies could not replace humans leaving qualified professionals to focus on more complex management problems.

 

Study Summary

The e-Therapy study is a 12-week trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness of The Journal (www.depression.org.nz) in people who have been referred by their family physician to one of the following programs at The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group (ROHCG) for depression:

  • Youth Program;
  • Mood and Anxiety Program; or
  •  Geriatric Program.

Participation in the study can begin while people are on the wait list for any of the three programs at the ROHCG.

 

Study Status

Recruitment and Participant Follow-Up Complete.
Results Pending.

Study Team

Principal Investigator:
Dr. Simon Hatcher

Co-Principal Investigator:
Dr. Clare Gray

Research Team:
Valerie Testa
Sarah MacLean
Sadie Litchfield

Funding Award:
2014-2016: CIHR ($89,998)
2016-2017: UMRF ($25,000)

clinicaltrials.gov ID: 
https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02423733

 

Study Hypotheses

  1. Participants who are coached by the e-Therapy Coach to progress through an e-therapy program will improve quicker, require fewer face to face appointments with clinicians and be more satisfied with their care than people who receive usual care.
     
  2. The use of an e-Therapy Coach will be more cost effective than usual care.

Study Purpose

To assess if adding a computerized therapy with an e-Therapy Coach to the treatment people usually receive for depression makes a difference to outcomes. The computerized therapy takes the form of an online “journal” where the user progresses through several lessons. The lessons teach the user psychological therapy which has been found to be effective when delivered face to face by a therapist. The e-Therapy Coach will support participants through the program. 

 

More About The Journal

The Journal is a free online program for the self-management of depression and was developed in New Zealand. It capitalizes on the social marketing appeal of Sir John Kirwan, a former All Black rugby player who has described his experiences of depression to help destigmatize mental illness.

The program is based on the cognitive behavioural techniques of behavioural activation and problem solving which teaches patients the skills of problem solving and delivers an evidence based intervention which is personalized for their individual care. It is organized into the following principles:

  1. How to stay positive
  2. How to create lifestyle changes that improve mental health, and 
  3. 3-steps to problem solving

For more information, please visit: https://depression.org.nz/get-better/the-journal/


Study Publications

Coming Soon!


Study Presentations

Hatcher, S. (June 02, 2017). “Can E-Therapies Reduce Mental Health Service Use? Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial of Coach-facilitated Online Therapy in Patients with Depression Referred to Secondary Care Services.” Presentation by: S. Hatcher at the 18th Collaborative Mental Health Care Conference (2017). Ottawa, ON.

Testa, V., MacLean, S., Litchfield, S., Gray, S. & Hatcher, S. (May 19, 2017). Suicidal Thoughts in Patients on a Waiting List for Treatment at entry into a Randomized Controlled Trial of a Coach-Facilitated e-Therapy Program. Poster presented at the 2017 Young Researchers Conference. Young Researchers. Ottawa, ON.

Hatcher, S. (February 08, 2017). “The Use of Technology in Mental Health Treatment: Preliminary Results from a Pilot Study of Smartphone-Assisted Problem-Solving Therapy in Men who Present with Intentional Self-Harm.” University of Ottawa, Department of Psychiatry University Rounds. Ottawa, ON.

Testa, V., MacLean, S., Litchfield, S., Gray, S. & Hatcher, S. (November 22, 2016). Suicidal Thoughts in Patients on a Waiting List for Treatment at entry into a Randomized Controlled Trial of a Coach-Facilitated e-Therapy Program. Poster presented at the 7th Annual Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, Vancouver, BC.

Testa, V., MacLean, S., Litchfield, S., Gray, S. & Hatcher, S. (September 23, 2016). Suicidal Thoughts in Patients on a Waiting List for Treatment at entry into a Randomized Controlled Trial of a Coach-Facilitated e-Therapy Program. Poster presented at the Canadian Psychiatric Association 66th Annual Conference, Toronto, ON.

MacLean, S., Testa, V., Litchfield, S., Gray, C. & Hatcher, S. (September 23, 2016). Working on Solutions: Description of a Coach-Facilitated e-Therapy Program. Poster presented at the Canadian Psychiatric Association 66th Annual Conference, Toronto, ON.

TMacLean, S.,  Testa, V.,  Litchfield, S., Gray, C., & Hatcher, S. (September 23, 2016). Working on Solutions: Description of a Coach-Facilitated e-Therapy Program. Poster presented at the Canadian Psychiatric Association 66th Annual Conference, Toronto, ON.

MacLean, S., Testa, V., Litchfield, S., Gray, C., & Hatcher, S. (June 24, 2016). Working on Solutions: Description of a Coach-Facilitated e-Therapy Program. Poster presented at the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute’s Brain Health Research Day, Ottawa, ON.

Testa, V.,  MacLean, S., Litchfield, S., Gray, C.,  Hatcher, S. (June 24, 2016). Suicidal Thoughts in Patients on a Waiting List for Treatment at entry into a Randomized Controlled Trial of a Coach-Facilitated e-Therapy Program. Poster presented at the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute’s Brain Health Research Day, Ottawa, ON.


Thank you to our study partners


This study has been approved by The Royal's Research Ethics Board (Protocol #2014001).