Study of Mobile Phone Sensing and Outreach to Assist an Internet-based Behavioral Intervention for Depression

2014-08-27 03:14:28 | BioPortfolio


This study will evaluate an intervention that uses multiple methods of communication to provide care for depression. The intervention, referred to as Mobilyze!, is delivered via a mobile phone, interactive website, and e-mail, and aims to help individuals with depression. The purpose of this study is to obtain preliminary information on the feasibility and effectiveness of Mobilyze! in improving symptoms of depression.


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common mental disorder, with up to 10.3% of the population experiencing the disorder in a given 12-month period. Symptoms of MDD include feelings of anxiety, guilt, or hopelessness; irregular sleep and appetite patterns; lethargy; excessive irritability and restlessness; inability to concentrate; and lack of enjoyment in previously enjoyed activities. Fortunately, MDD is treatable with forms of psychotherapy and/or antidepressant medications. Several studies have found that when given a choice, about two-thirds of patients with depression prefer psychotherapy treatment over antidepressant medication. Although psychotherapy treatments are both effective and desirable, a variety of barriers exist to initiating and sustaining psychotherapy. Only about 20% of all patients referred for psychotherapy treatments ever follow up. Of those who do initiate psychotherapy, nearly half drop out before completing treatment.

We are developing an intervention that utilizes telecommunications technologies to overcome these barriers and to insert care for depression into the person's life. The intervention, referred to as Mobilyze!, uses a mobile phone and sensing system, interactive website, and e-mail. This pilot study will administer this intervention to a small group of persons with MDD, to examine whether Mobilyze! is feasible and effective. We will also gather participant feedback to determine areas of potential improvement.

Participation in the study will last 8 weeks. All participants will first undergo initial assessments that will include a telephone interview and a series of online questionnaires about mood. Eligible participants will receive 8 weeks of access to the Web-based Internet intervention, which consists of lessons and tools to help them learn skills to manage their moods. Participants will be asked to access the Web site every day to complete the modules and to practice using the tools. Participants will also receive temporary use of a mobile phone to help them practice the skills they are learning. It is suggested that participants utilize the mobile phone tools every day. Participants will also receive a 5-10 minute weekly telephone-based motivational intervention from a coach and will be able to communicate with the coach via email throughout the 8 weeks of study participation. Participants will undergo repeat assessments at Weeks 2, 4, and 8 of the study.

Study Design

Control: Uncontrolled, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Major Depressive Disorder




Northwestern University
United States




Northwestern University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:14:28-0400

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