A comparison of the characteristics and treatment outcomes of migrant and Australian-born users of a national digital mental health service

Rony Kayrouz, Eyal Karin, Lauren G. Staples, Olav Nielssen, Blake F. Dear, Nickolai Titov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: To explore the characteristics and compare clinical outcomes of non-Australian born (migrant) and Australian-born users of an Australian national digital mental health service. METHODS: The characteristics and treatment outcomes of patients who completed online treatment at the MindSpot Clinic between January 2014 and December 2016 and reported a country of birth other than Australia were compared to Australian-born users. Data about the main language spoken at home were used to create distinct groups. Changes in symptoms of depression and anxiety were measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 Item (PHQ-9), and Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale - 7 Item (GAD-7), respectively. RESULTS: Of 52,020 people who started assessment at MindSpot between 1st January 2014 and 22nd December 2016, 45,082 reported a country of birth, of whom 78.6% (n = 35,240) were Australian-born, and 21.4% (n = 9842) were born overseas. Of 6782 people who completed the online treatment and reported country of birth and main language spoken at home, 1631 (24%) were migrants, 960 (59%) were from English-speaking countries, and 671 (41%) were from non-English speaking countries. Treatment-seeking migrant users reported higher rates of tertiary education than Australian-born users. The baseline symptom severity, and rates of symptom reduction and remission following online treatment were similar across groups. CONCLUSIONS: Online treatment was associated with significant reductions in anxiety and depression in migrants of both English speaking and non-English speaking backgrounds, with outcomes similar to those obtained by Australian-born patients. DMHS have considerable potential to help reduce barriers to mental health care for migrants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • migrants
  • digital mental health service
  • online treatment
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • iCBT
  • ethnicity


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