What we are studying?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (or ‘CBT’ for short) is an effective type of talking treatment that can help people who have depression. However, many people are unable to get one-to-one CBT. One of the reasons for this is a lack of CBT therapists; another is cost.

There are computerised self-help packages based on CBT. However, they are inflexible, and patients often do not engage with them. The aim of the INTERACT study is to bring together online CBT materials and input from a qualified CBT therapist. CBT materials include worksheets, information about depression, and short films. This is a way of making CBT more widely available in the NHS.

The INTERACT team have developed a new way of providing therapy that combines face to face contact and the convenience and access to resources of online therapy. The therapist and patient meet face-to-face for the first session by video call, and after that they meet for therapy online in real-time using instant messaging at pre-arranged appointments. Patients will also have online CBT materials to work with between sessions.

Online therapy appointments and CBT materials can be accessed using a computer, smartphone or tablet, so people can access therapy from home, and can do between-session exercises (such as recording their thoughts and feelings) at convenient times.

What do we hope to find out?

This study is trying to find out whether this new form of therapy, ‘integrated CBT’, helps people with depression. The study will find out whether the treatment is effective, cost-effective, and acceptable to patients.