Telephone-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy for treating symptoms of anxiety and depression in Parkinson’s disease

a pilot trial

Viviana M. Wuthrich*, Ronald M. Rapee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To determine the feasibility, acceptability and initial efficacy of telephone-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for the treatment of anxiety and depressive symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease. Methods: A small randomized controlled trial compared telephone-based CBT to waitlist control. Eleven participants aged >50 years with Parkinson’s disease and anxiety and/or depressive symptoms above recommended clinical cut-offs, were randomized to one of two conditions. Participants completed self-report measures of symptom severity and quality of life. Their carers were invited to participate and completed self-reported measures of symptoms and carer burden. At the end of the 10-week intervention period, participants and carers were reassessed on baseline measures, and again one month later. Results: The CBT program was associated with significantly reduced depressive symptoms (Cohen’s d = .90) at post-treatment with gains maintained at one-month follow-up. Anxiety symptom decreases (Cohen’s d = 0.36) were not statistically different. Waitlist was associated with significantly worsened anxiety. Carer symptoms also reduced with CBT. No changes on quality of life were found. Good acceptability and feedback was received. Conclusions: Telephone-based CBT reduced symptoms of depression in participants with Parkinson’s disease but not anxiety. Clinical Implications: Telephone-based CBT is a promising treatment option.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-453
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Issue number4
Early online date1 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2019


  • Parkinson’s disease
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • telehealth
  • cognitive behavioral therapy

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