Introduction: The aim of this study is to examine the effects of an internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) program on decreasing the risk of major depressive episodes (MDEs) among workers employed in a private corporate group in Japan, using a randomised controlled trial design. Methods and analysis: All of the workers in a corporate group (n=20 000) will be recruited through an invitation email. Participants who fulfil the inclusion criteria will be randomly allocated to intervention or control groups ( planned N=4050 for each group). They will be allowed to complete the six lessons of the iCBT program within 10 weeks after the baseline survey. Those in the control group will receive the same iCBT after 12 months. The program includes several CBT skills: self-monitoring, cognitive restructuring, assertiveness, problem-solving and relaxation. The primary outcome measure is no new onset of MDE (using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)/DSM-5 criteria) during the 12-month follow-up. Assessment will use the web version of the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview V.3.0 depression section. Ethics and dissemination: The Research Ethics Review Board of Graduate School of Medicine, the University of Tokyo (No. 3083-(2)), approved the study procedures. Trial registration number: The study protocol is registered at the UMIN Clinical Trials Registry (UMIN-CTR; ID=UMIN000014146).
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