The Acceptability and Effectiveness of Stepped Care Psychoeducation Classes in Rural Manitoba

2019-10-02 07:21:45 | BioPortfolio


This study will examine the acceptability and effectiveness of using a stepped care treatment model, and specifically, the CBTm classes, in a rural population. The introduction of CBTm classes, developed in Winnipeg and used in outpatient mental health clinics there, is new to Adult Community Mental Health in the Prairie Mountain Health region. This research is being done to explore whether this is a treatment model that is effective at reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and also whether it affects the workload for Community Mental Health Workers in a more rural area. Further, this research is being done to explore whether clients perceive this form of services to be useful and acceptable.


This study will evaluate the acceptability and effectiveness of class-based psychoeducation as the first step of a stepped care model in a community mental health program. In April of 2019, the Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) Adult Community Mental Health programs (both Northern and Southern regions) instituted a change to their existing service model. Previously, all individuals who sought access to public mental health services underwent an intake interview and were subsequently assigned a community mental health worker (CMHW) with whom they met for individual counselling. Due to the ever-increasing demand for services, CMHWs were required to manage large caseloads which resulted in extended periods between counselling appointments and strain on care providers. In an effort to introduce a stepped-care framework to mitigate workload, the Adult Community Mental Health programs in PMH North and South began to offer psychology-led psychoeducation classes as a step below individual counselling. Specifically, the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Mindfulness (CBTm) classes, developed at the University of Manitoba by Sareen, Sala, Wong, Whitney, and Kinley (2016), were delivered. This program is comprised of four 90-minute sessions that deliver information about basic cognitive and behavioural therapy principles and effective self-help resources. It was developed to offer services to clients on the waitlist for outpatient mental health services in Winnipeg and preliminary research on this program has demonstrated that it is an acceptable form of treatment and effectively reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression (with a small to medium effect).

As the change in the service delivery model and the introduction of large psychoeducation classes in PMH's Adult Community Mental Health programs is novel, evaluation of this change is warranted. This study will examine foundational program variables including retention, acceptability, and effectiveness (see Thakur, Bolton, & Sareen, 2018). Assessing these factors will provide critical information about the potential for further development of a stepped care model, including the CBTm program, in this rural health region and afford the opportunity to compare outcome measures in a rural setting to those from an urban centre (data published by Thakur et al., 2018). In order to further increase access to services, this program is being delivered to remote rural sites via telehealth; exploration of the acceptability and effectiveness of telehealth use in service delivery also merits assessment.

The research questions and hypotheses are as follows:

1. Is the implementation of CBTm as the first step in a stepped model acceptable to rural clients? The investigators hypothesize that class-based clinical service will be acceptable to rural clients as it will increase their access to valuable mental health services in their region; this will be demonstrated in a high rate of retention and positive feedback from participants.

2. How are issues unique to rural settings, such as concerns about confidentiality and use of telehealth technology, in a class-based setting viewed by rural clients? The investigators anticipate initial concerns about confidentiality and telehealth related to the nature of the rural setting.

3. Are class-based clinical services (i.e., CBTm) effective for reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety for participants living in rural areas? Consistent with previous research, the investigators anticipate a small to medium effect size in the decrease of symptoms of depression and anxiety and increased incorporation of cognitive behavioural strategies into daily life.

Study Design


Depressive Symptoms


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Mindfulness classes


Prairie Mountain Health South - Adult Community Mental Health
R7A 6N5


Not yet recruiting


University of Manitoba

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-10-02T07:21:45-0400

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