An investigation of the effectiveness of Internet delivered education about emotional health and wellbeing in tertiary students experiencing depression and anxiety as partof a stepped care student counselling service
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 14:41 authored by Steve Bailey
Despite fewer than 30% of university students experiencing anxiety and depression seeking treatment university counselling services report difficulty in meeting demand for treatment. This study aimed to examine the efficacy of clinician guided transdiagnostic internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) treatment for students. It was hypothesized that post-treatment symptom scores of anxiety and depression would be lower than pre-treatment scores and that this would be maintained at three-month follow-up with less than 50% of treated students seeking face-to-face counselling within 3 months of treatment ending. There was a significant reduction in post-treatment anxiety and depression scores as measured by the GAD-7 (p <.001) (Cohen’s d = -0.92) and PHQ-9 (p < .001) (Cohen’s d = -0.76) compared to pretreatment scores with no significant difference between post-treatment and three-month follow up GAD-7 (p = .443) and PHQ-9 (p = .150) scores. A face-to-face counselling appointment was requested by only 16% of participants within 3 months of treatment ending and the mean amount of clinician time per participant for the whole treatment and follow-up period was 50.3 minutes (SD = 15.8) (95% CI 47.8 – 53.1). All four lessons were completed by 67% of participants and 90% of participants surveyed would recommend the treatment to a friend. The results suggest that this treatment may be effective for students using a university counselling service however a trial that compares the treatment to treatment as usual is required.