Randomised control trial of a low-intensity cognitive-behaviour therapy intervention to improve mental health in university students

Stallman, Helen M., Kavanagh, David J., Arklay, Anthony R. and Bennett-Levy, James (2016) Randomised control trial of a low-intensity cognitive-behaviour therapy intervention to improve mental health in university students. Australian Psychologist, 51 2: 145-153. doi:10.1111/ap.12113


Author Stallman, Helen M.
Kavanagh, David J.
Arklay, Anthony R.
Bennett-Levy, James
Title Randomised control trial of a low-intensity cognitive-behaviour therapy intervention to improve mental health in university students
Journal name Australian Psychologist   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1742-9544
0005-0067
Publication date 2016-04-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ap.12113
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 51
Issue 2
Start page 145
End page 153
Total pages 9
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: University students have high rates of clinical and subclinical depression and anxiety symptoms, low rates of face-to-face help-seeking, and high rates of Internet use. Low-intensity cognitive-behaviour therapy (LI-CBT) that incorporates e-resources has potential for increasing access to help by distressed students.

Method: This article reports the first randomised controlled trial of LI-CBT in a university context, comparing it with self-help information only.

Results: Only 11% of distressed students agreed to participate in treatment, and only 58% of LI-CBT participants attended any sessions. Almost all of the 107 participants were female, with an average age of 23 and high average distress. Intention-to-treat analyses using mixed models regressions showed that LI-CBT participants had greater reductions in depression and anxiety than controls who received self-help information only, but only over the first 2 months. Correction for baseline levels eliminated these effects, although differential improvements for anxiety and stress were seen if analyses were restricted to LI-CBT participants who attended sessions. LI-CBT also resulted in differential reductions in perceived connection to the university perhaps because of greater usage of staff resources by controls.

Conclusions: Results provide some support for a potential role for LI-CBT within universities, but suggest that marketing and engagement strategies may need refinement to maximise its uptake and impact.
Keyword Anxiety
CBT
Connectedness
Depression
Low intensity
University students
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Psychology Publications
 
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