Feasibility and effectiveness of delivering e-CBT through OPTT for depression
Abstract: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a prevalent and debilitating mental health disorder. Among different therapeutic approaches(e.g., medication, psychotherapy), psychotherapy in the form of CBT is considered the gold standard treatment for MDD. However, while efficacious, CBTis not readily accessible to many patients in need due to hurdles like stigma, long wait times, high cost, the large time commitment for health care providers, and cultural/geographic barriers. e-CBT can effectively address many of these accessibility barriers. This study aims to investigate the efficacy and feasibility of implementing a digital e-psychotherapy clinic for the treatment of MDD. This non-randomized control trial intervention will provide e-CBT for MDD through OPTT, a secure, cloud-based, digital mental health platform. Participants (age 18-65 years) will be offered an e-CBT program tailored to MDD over 12 weeks to address their depressive symptoms.Participants will complete pre-designed modules and homework assignments while receiving personalized feedback and asynchronous interaction with a therapist through the platform. Using clinically validated symptomology questionnaires, the efficacy of the e-CBT program will be compared to a group receiving in-person CBT. Questionnaires will be completed at baseline, week 6, week 12, and at a 6-month follow-up. Inclusion criteria include diagnosis of MDD, competence to consent to participate, ability to speak and read English, and consistent and reliable access to the internet. Exclusion criteria include active psychosis, acute mania, severe alcohol or substance use disorder, and/or active suicidal or homicidal ideation. The results from this study can provide valuable information used to develop more accessible and scalable mental health interventions with increased care capacity for MDD, without sacrificing the quality of care.