Cluster randomized controlled trial of a psycho-educational intervention for people with a family history of depression for use in general practice

Bettina Meiser*, Peter R. Schofield, Lyndal Trevena, Alex Wilde, Kristine Barlow-Stewart, Judy Proudfoot, Michelle Peate, Timothy Dobbins, Helen Christensen, Kerry A. Sherman, Janan Karatas, Philip B. Mitchell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The strongest risk factor for depression is having a family history of the condition. Many individuals with a family history of depression are concerned about their personal risk for depression and report unmet educational and psychological support needs. No supportive and/or educational interventions are currently available that target this group of individuals. In this study we will develop and evaluate the first online psycho-educational intervention targeted to individuals with a family history of depression. Genetic risk information and evidence-rated information on preventive strategies for depression will be provided to such individuals in a general practice setting. The intervention will also incorporate a risk assessment tool. The content and delivery of the intervention will be pilot-tested.Methods/design: The proposed intervention will be evaluated in the general practitioner (GPs) setting, using a cluster randomized controlled trial. GP practices will be randomized to provide either access to the online, targeted psycho-educational intervention or brief generic information about depression (control) to eligible patients. Eligibility criteria include having at least one first-degree relative with either major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar disorder (BD). The primary outcome measure is 'intention to adopt, or actual adoption of, risk-reducing strategies'. Secondary outcome measures include: depression symptoms, perceived stigma of depression, knowledge of risk factors for development of depression and risk-reducing strategies, and perceived risk of developing depression or having a recurrence of family history. Over the course of the study, participants will complete online questionnaires at three time points: at baseline, and two weeks and six months after receiving the intervention or control condition.Discussion: This novel psycho-educational intervention will provide individuals with a family history of depression with information on evidence-based strategies for the prevention of depression, thus, we hypothesize, enabling them to make appropriate lifestyle choices and implement behaviors designed to reduce their risk for depression. The online psycho-educational intervention will also provide a model for similar interventions aimed at individuals at increased familial risk for other psychiatric disorders.Trial registration: The study is registered with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Group (Registration no: ACTRN12613000402741).

Original languageEnglish
Article number325
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013

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Copyright the Author(s) 2013. 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.

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Meiser, B., Schofield, P. R., Trevena, L., Wilde, A., Barlow-Stewart, K., Proudfoot, J., ... Mitchell, P. B. (2013). Cluster randomized controlled trial of a psycho-educational intervention for people with a family history of depression for use in general practice. BMC Psychiatry, 13, 1-10. [325]. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-13-325