Macquarie University
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Transdiagnostic internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy for university students with symptoms of anxiety and depression

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posted on 2022-03-28, 19:14 authored by Amanda Jane Mullin
Anxiety and mood disorders are prevalent among university students, but many do not seek treatment. The first two studies of the present thesis aimed to evaluate whether a transdiagnostic internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy intervention (iCBT), the UniWellbeing Course, is efficacious and acceptable to students with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Study III evaluated the implementation of iCBT in a student counselling service (SCS). In Study I university students (n = 52) with symptoms of anxiety or depression were randomly allocated to receive therapist-guided iCBT or to a waitlist-control group. At post-treatment mixed models analyses revealed outcomes for the treatment group were statistically and clinically superior to those of the waitlist-control group on the primary outcome measures, the Patient Health Questionnaire 9-Item (PHQ-9) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item (GAD-7), with gains sustained at 3-month follow-up. Clinically significant reductions in the number of diagnoses of anxiety and depression were also found, with a mean total of 27 minutes of clinician time required per participant during the program. In Study II, the waitlist-control group from Study I received a self-guided version of the UniWellbeing Course, using an open trial design. Outcomes were consistent with those from the treatment group in Study I. In Study III, the UniWellbeing Course was offered to students attending a SCS as an alternative to treatment as usual. This small open trial (n = 6) found no statistically significant improvements as measured by the primary outcome measures, the PHQ-9 and GAD-7. Study III also explored the implementation of iCBT at the SCS using a structured methodology which identified several barriers to implementation including clinician attitudes and student treatment preferences. Notwithstanding these challenges, students, as well as managers and clinicians of the SCS who used the intervention rated it as highly acceptable. The results provide preliminary support that transdiagnostic iCBT for university students has the potential to be clinically effective, and acceptable to consumers, therapists, and service managers.


Alternative Title

Transdiagnostic internet CBT for university students.

Table of Contents

Chapter one. Literature review -- Chapter two. Study 1 : a randomised controlled trial of transdiagnostic internet delivered cognitive behavioural therapy for tertiary students with symptoms of anxiety and depression -- Chapter three. Study 2 : an open trial of self-guided transdiagnostic internet delivered cognitive behavioural therapy for tertiary students with symptoms of anxiety and depression -- Chapter four. Stduy 3 : evaluation of the implementation of a transdiagnostic internet treatment for students with syptoms of anxiety and depression in a university student counselling service -- Chapter five. General discussion.


Bibliography: pages 116-143 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis professional doctorate


DClinPsych, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Psychology | Centre for Emotional Health

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Nick Titov


Copyright Amanda Jane Mullin 2014. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (155 pages)

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