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Developing E-health Services (DES): The Feasibility and Acceptability of Video-conferencing for Adults With Depression (DES)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03288506
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 20, 2017
Last Update Posted : August 29, 2018
Northern Ireland Public Health Research Network
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Dr Paul Best, Queen's University, Belfast

Brief Summary:

Depression impacts 1 in 5 people in the United Kingdom and is a significant risk factor for self-harming behaviours and suicide. Research has shown that those experiencing depression may feel embarrassed about seeking help from a health professional and ultimately decide not to seek support at all. This project seeks to give those people an alternative option to face-to-face support by developing a new online service using video conferencing technology. In previous studies, this technology has shown to be beneficial in treating a number of mental health problems. It may also be less expensive to run. However, as no widely available services of this type exist in the UK the full extent of potential benefits is unknown. The project seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What is the likely interest in video conferencing services for depression?
  • Which groups of people are likely to use the service?
  • How much will this service cost?
  • How much change is likely to occur when receiving therapy via video conferencing?

In order to answer these questions, Queens University Belfast are collaborating with AWARE NI, the national depression charity for Northern Ireland. Recruitment of participants who are interested in the service and delivery of the video conferencing support groups will be through AWARE NI. Results will be compared from groups that receive the video-conferencing service and those who are on a waiting list. Participants in both groups will be asked to complete surveys and take part in interviews before and after the therapy takes place. The study will have two main phases:

Phase 1: The development and in-house testing of an intervention protocol tailored towards Video Conferencing (VC) based delivery of current face-to-face peer support services. This will include interviews with facilitators, staff and current AWARE NI service users and observations of face to face groups.

Phase 2: Delivery of an 8-week group based VC support service for adults with depression. A between groups design comparing the intervention group and a waiting list control group will be used. Outcome measures will be recorded at baseline, week eight and six months using validated measures. Qualitative data in the form of interviews and fieldwork observations will also be gathered during this 8-week period.

Results will be used to inform development of a larger trial to test the effectiveness of group based video conferencing for adults with depression.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Depression Behavioral: Google Hangout (VC) group Not Applicable

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 60 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Developing E-health Services (DES): The Feasibility and Acceptability of Group Based Video-conferencing for Adults With Depression
Actual Study Start Date : October 13, 2016
Actual Primary Completion Date : January 30, 2018
Actual Study Completion Date : June 30, 2018

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Google Hangout (VC) group
This group receive peer led support for depression via Google Hangouts for 8-weeks
Behavioral: Google Hangout (VC) group
Feasibility and acceptability of online peer support groups for adults with depression. Groups will be delivered using video-conferencing technology (Google Hangouts).

No Intervention: Waiting list control group
Waiting list

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. PHQ9 [ Time Frame: Six months ]
    Depression Measure

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 18 years or older, adults with depression (not required to have a formal diagnosis to participate), not currently an AWARE NI service user or accessed AWARE NI services in the past 12 months, a resident of Northern Ireland and not actively suicidal.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Actively suicidal, live outside Northern Ireland, currently accessing AWARE NI services or have accessed within the previous 12 months

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT03288506

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United Kingdom
Belfast, Antrim, United Kingdom, BT15 2GG
Sponsors and Collaborators
Queen's University, Belfast
Northern Ireland Public Health Research Network
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Principal Investigator: Paul Best, PhD Queen's University, Belfast
Best, P., Foye, U., Taylor, B., Hazlett, D., & Manktelow, R. (2013). Online interactive suicide support services: Quality and accessibility. Mental Health Review Journal, 18(4), 226-239.
Best, P., Manktelow, R., & Taylor, BJ. (2014). Social Work and Social Media: Online Help-Seeking and the Mental Well-Being of Adolescent Males. British Journal of Social Work. (advanced access)
Centre for Mental Health (2010). The economic and social costs of mental health problems in 2009/10. Accessed 4th December 2015 from
Department Of Health. (2014). Five Year Forward View, Retrieved July, 8, 2015 from
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. (2011a). Transforming your care: Review of health and social care in Northern Ireland. Retrieved July, 10, 2015 from
Simpson, S., Bell, L., Britton, P., Mitchell, D., Morrow, E., Johnston, L. A.,. . . Brebner, J. (2006). Does video therapy work? A single case series of bulimic disorders. European Eating Disorders Review, 14, 226-241.doi:10.1002/erv.686
The Google Corporation. (2015). A remedy for your health-related questions: health info in the Knowledge Graph. Accessed December 14th 2015 at

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Dr Paul Best, Lecturer, Queen's University, Belfast Identifier: NCT03288506    
Other Study ID Numbers: R4773SES(DES)
First Posted: September 20, 2017    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 29, 2018
Last Verified: August 2018
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Depressive Disorder
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders