Culturally attuned internet treatment for depression amongst Chinese Australians: A randomised controlled trial

Isabella Choi, Judy Zou, Nickolai Titov, Blake F. Dear, Stephen Li, Luke Johnston, Gavin Andrews, Caroline Hunt*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    82 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction: Although depression can be treated effectively with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), only a small percentage of Chinese Australians access evidence-based treatment due to practical and cultural barriers. The present study examined the efficacy and acceptability of an Internet delivered CBT (iCBT) program to treat Chinese Australians with depression. Methods: The Chinese depression iCBT program (the Brighten Your Mood Program) is a culturally adapted version of the clinically efficacious Sadness iCBT Program. Fifty-five Chinese Australians with depression were randomly allocated to either an immediate treatment group or to a waitlist control group. Treatment consisted of an 8 week program with 6 CBT online educational lessons, homework assignments, additional resources presented in Chinese and English, and weekly telephone support with Mandarin/Cantonese-speaking support personnel. An intention-to-treat model was used for data analyses. Results: Seventeen of twenty-five (68%) treatment group participants completed all lessons within the timeframe. Compared to controls, treatment group participants reported significantly reduced symptoms of depression on the Chinese versions of the Beck Depression Inventory (CBDI) and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 item (CB-PHQ-9). The within- and between-group effect sizes (Cohen's d) were 1.41 and 0.93 on the CBDI, and 0.90 and 0.50 on the CB-PHQ-9, respectively. Participants rated the procedure as acceptable, and gains were sustained at three-month follow-up. Limitations: The study included several subclinical participants and some measures that have not been previously validated with Chinese Australians. Conclusions: Results provide preliminary support for the efficacy and acceptability of an iCBT program at reducing symptoms of depression in Chinese Australians.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)459-468
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


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