Depression: Online Therapy Study (D:OTS)

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What is the purpose of this study?

This study is evaluating an online self-guided treatment programme for young people (aged 16-18) with depression. The programme has been developed and tested in Sweden, but not used in the UK until now. If you join the study, you will be given access to the online treatment programme.

What does taking part in the study involve?

I-PDT consists of 8 "chapters" that are accessed weekly through an online platform. These chapters include a mixture of text, video and exercises that can be completed on a smartphone or computer. Each young person also has a 30-minute online chat session with a Therapeutic Support Worker, who provides feedback on the exercises and can explore issues that are come up.

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As part of the study, you will also be asked to fill in some questionnaires about yourself, which will help us to learn more about whether I-PDT is effective. This will help us to learn what adaptations need to be made, and whether the treatment should be made more widely available to other young people.

Is this study suitable for me?

You are invited to join the study if you are between the ages of 16 and 18, have been feeling depressed, and have access to a computer or phone that will allow you to use the programme online.

However, taking part in the study may not be right for everyone. Since the I-PDT treatment is online rather than face-to-face, it isn’t suitable for young people with complex needs, more severe depression, or other mental health problems such as bipolar disorder or psychosis. If you are at risk of taking your own life, you might need a different kind of treatment.

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If that situation applies to you, we recommend that you book an appointment with your GP to discuss a possible referral to a specialist service, or if the situation is urgent, go directly to your local A&E department. I-PDT might also not be suitable for people with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, or if you are suffering from alcohol or drug addiction.

We hope that being part of D:OTS will help you to feel better. By taking part, you will also be contributing to building up knowledge about what kind of treatments are helpful to other young people struggling with depression. Completing the I-PDT programme and filling in the evaluation questionnaires will take up quite a bit of time and energy, so it’s important that you feel ready to take on the challenge. That said, it’s normal to find treatment a bit difficult and sometimes lose motivation, and your Therapeutic Support Worker will be there to help you.

I’m interested, what next?

To check that the programme is right for you, we’d like you to give you a bit more information about what taking part involves, and ask you to fill in a couple of questionnaire and provide a bit of information about yourself. This is all kept confidential and not shared beyond the study team. Please visit this secure website to read the information sheet and complete the questionnaire. 

Thank you for your interest in the study! We really hope it will be the first step on a journey to feeling better.