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Effectiveness of Web-based Treatment for Depression in Patients With Neurologic Disorders

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: NCT01663649
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 13, 2012
Last Update Posted : March 25, 2015
Epilepsy Centre Alsterdorf
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

Brief Summary:

200 persons (100 with multiple sclerosis and 100 with epilepsy) with depressive symptoms are recruited via the multiple sclerosis clinics of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and the epilepsy centre Alsterdorf and randomly assigned either to the online program deprexis or to a wait-list control condition. All participants receive free-of-charge online access to deprexis either immediately or with a six month delay.

At three time points (1. prior to intervention, 2. after completion of the intervention nine weeks later and 3. at follow-up six month later), both groups are assessed via an anonymous online survey, which was implemented using the software package OPST®.

The survey consists of different questionnaires. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) represents the primary outcome (IIT analysis for pre versus post). It is assumed that the severity of depressive symptoms will improve to a significantly greater extent in the deprexis than in the wait-list control condition in the course of nine weeks and will be maintained in a six month follow-up.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Depression Behavioral: Deprexis Behavioral: Wait-list Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
Deprexis is a web-based intervention that can be obtained online ( Deprexis encompasses 10 content modules with a strong focus on evidence-based cognitive-behavioral techniques, either from its so-called first (behavior-oriented), second (cognitive-oriented) or third wave (e.g. mindfulness and acceptance): (1) psychoeducation, (2) behavioral activation, (3) cognitive modification, (4) mindfulness and acceptance, (5) interpersonal skills, (6) relaxation, physical exercise and lifestyle modification, (7) problem solving and (8) expressive writing and forgiveness, (9) positive psychology and (10) dreamwork and emotion-focus interventions. The ten modules are framed by one introductory and one summary module. Communication is carried out online via simulated dialogues. Patients have to respond to narrative text messages from the virtual therapists in multiple-choice response fashion, enabling them to express doubt, to affirm a particular message or to request more information. Text messages are aided with drawings, photographs and animations. The program is adaptive and selects exercises and contents on the basis of the subject's response. The modules are sequential and each module refers and builds upon previous one. Modules can (and should be) repeated within the intervention period.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 180 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Web-based Treatment Program for Depression (Deprexis) for the Reduction of Depressive Symptoms in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis and Epilepsy. A Randomized Controlled Trial
Study Start Date : June 2012
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 2013
Actual Study Completion Date : February 2014

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Epilepsy

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Deprexis
Deprexis (Web-based intervention deprexis consists of ten online modules (plus one introductory and one summary module) representing different psychotherapeutic strategies with a strong focus on evidence-based cognitive-behavioral techniques (e.g. interpersonal skills). Each module lasts approximately 10-60 minutes (e.g. depending on the user´s reading speed). Modules are sequential and organized as simulated dialogues. Each module refers and builds upon previous one. The program is delivered at no cost to participants.)
Behavioral: Deprexis
web-based treatment program for depression
Other Name: web-based treatment program for depression

Active Comparator: Wait-list
Wait-list group (Subjects receive access to deprexis after six months)
Behavioral: Deprexis
web-based treatment program for depression
Other Name: web-based treatment program for depression

Behavioral: Wait-list
the wait-list group receives Deprexis after 6 month
Other Name: web-based treatment for depression after 6 month

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Severity of depressive symptoms [ Time Frame: 7 Days ]
    Severity of depressive symptoms as assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. quality of life [ Time Frame: 14 days ]
    quality of life as assessed by the WHO Quality of Life scale (WHO-QOL BREF)

Other Outcome Measures:
  1. depressive symptoms [ Time Frame: 7 days ]
    depressive symptoms as assessed by the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (QIDS)

  2. core self-evaluations [ Time Frame: 7 days ]
    core self-evaluations as assessed by the Core Self-Evaluations Scale (CSES)

  3. suicidal behaviors and tendencies [ Time Frame: 7 days ]
    suicidal behaviors and tendencies as assessed by the Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R)

  4. quality of life [ Time Frame: 7 days ]
    quality of life as assessed by the Hamburg MS Quality of Life Questionnaire (HALEMS)

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • presence of a confirmed diagnosis of multiple sclerosis or epilepsy
  • self-reported urge to be treated for depressive symptoms (no externally confirmed diagnosis necessary)
  • informed consent (provided online in line with regulations by the Hamburg Department of Data Security)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • unable to provide informed consent
  • diagnosis of bipolar or schizophrenia spectrum disorders
  • substantial neurocognitive impairment (e.g. dementia)
  • acute suicidal tendencies as assessed with the Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R). Subjects excluded for this reason are provided various emergency contacts and phone numbers.

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): NCT01663649

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University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf - Neurology
Hamburg, Germany, 20246
Epilepsy Centre Alsterdorf
Hamburg, Germany, 22337
Sponsors and Collaborators
Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
Epilepsy Centre Alsterdorf
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Principal Investigator: Steffen Moritz, Prof. Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
Publications of Results:
Other Publications:
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Responsible Party: Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf Identifier: NCT01663649    
Other Study ID Numbers: Deprexis_2
First Posted: August 13, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 25, 2015
Last Verified: March 2015
Keywords provided by Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf:
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Depressive Disorder
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders