Effects of five-minute internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy and simplified emotion-focused mindfulness on depressive symptoms: A randomized controlled trial

Remi Noguchi, Yoichi Sekizawa, Mirai So, Sosei Yamaguchi, Eiji Shimizu

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Notwithstanding a high expectation for internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT) for reducing depressive symptoms, many of iCBT programs have limitations such as temporary effects and high drop-out rates, possibly due to their complexity. We examined the effects of a free, simplified, 5-minute iCBT program by comparing it with a simplified emotion-focused mindfulness (sEFM) exercise and with a waiting list control group. Methods: A total of 974 participants, who were recruited using the website of a market research company, were randomly assigned to the iCBT group, the sEFM group, and the control group. Those in the intervention arms performed each exercise for 5 weeks. The primary outcome measure was the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CES-D) at postintervention. Secondary outcome measures were the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 scale (GAD-7). Intention-to-treat analyses were conducted. Results: During postintervention assessment, there were no significant differences between the intervention arms and the control group in the CES-D, although the difference between the iCBT arm and control group was close to significance (p = 0.05) in favor of iCBT. There was a significant difference in the PHQ-9 in favor of the sEFM group compared with the control group. There were no significant differences in outcome measures between the three groups at the 6-week follow-up. Conclusions: Although both iCBT and sEFM have the potential to temporarily reduce depressive symptoms, substantial improvements are required to enhance and maintain their effects. Trial registration: This trial is registered with the UMIN Clinical Trial Registry (UMIN-CTR) (ID: UMIN000015097 ) on 1 October 2014.

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 4

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Keywords

  • Depression
  • Emotional acceptance
  • Five-minute internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Simplified emotion-focused mindfulness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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