Condition category
Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Date applied
24/05/2011
Date assigned
22/06/2011
Last edited
08/09/2016
Prospective/Retrospective
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Completed
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
It has been estimated that millions of people worldwide use bulletin boards, forums and internet support groups for health conditions. However, little is known about the effectiveness of these groups in terms of symptom reduction or improvement in quality of life. A recent study found that an online bulletin board set up specifically for use by research participants was effective at reducing depression symptoms. The current study extends on this study by investigating the effectiveness of an established online bulletin board for depression available to the public. The aims of the study are to determine whether this bulletin board improves mental health and quality of life.

Who can participate?
People aged over 18 with self-reported current or previous experience of depression

What does the study involve?
Participants are randomly allocated to one of two groups. Participants in one group are given access to the online support group for 6 months. 3. Participants in the other group are given access to the online support group after waiting 6 months. All participants are asked to complete survey assessments at the start of the study and after 6 and 12 months.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Not provided at time of registration

Where is the study run from?
The study is conducted online, administered by the Centre for Mental Health Research, Canberra, Australia.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
June 2011 to January 2013

Who is funding the study?
National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia)

Who is the main contact?
Prof. Kathy Griffiths

Trial website

http://shareit.anu.edu.au

Contact information

Type

Scientific

Primary contact

Prof Kathy Griffiths

ORCID ID

Contact details

Centre for Mental Health Research
Australian National University
Building 63
Eggleston Road
Canberra
0200
Australia

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Protocol/serial number

N/A

Study information

Scientific title

Effectiveness of an online bulletin board for depression: a longitudinal randomized controlled trial

Acronym

Study hypothesis

Current study hypothesis as of 07/06/2012
The project aims to investigate the effectiveness of an online bulletin board as a support tool for depression

Previous study hypothesis
The project aims to investigate the effectiveness of an online bulletin board (BlueBoard) as a support tool for depression

Ethics approval

Australian National University Human Research Ethics Committee, 06/05/2011, ref: Human Ethics Protocol 2011/037

Study design

Longitudinal randomized controlled trial

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting

Internet

Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet

Condition

Depression

Intervention

Current interventions as of 07/06/2012:
1. The study involves an active intervention and a waitlist control
2. Participants will be given access to the online support group (intervention) for a 6 month period
3. After 6 months participants allocated to the control group will also receive access to the intervention
4. The online support group for depression uses a bulletin board format to facilitate discussions
5. Participants will be asked to complete survey assessments prior to commencing the study (baseline) and at 6 and 12 month time-points

Previous interventions:
1. The study involves an active intervention and a waitlist control
2. Participants will be given access to the BlueBoard support group (intervention) for a 6 month period
3. After 6 months participants allocated to the control group will also receive access to the intervention
4. BlueBoard is an online support group for depression which uses a bulletin board format to facilitate discussions
5. Participants will be asked to complete survey assessments prior to commencing the study (baseline) and at 6 and 12 month time-points

Intervention type

Other

Phase

Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

1. Depressive symptoms: Centre for Epidemiological Studies - Depression (CES-D) 20-item self -report measure of depression severity
2. Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 item scale (PHQ-9)

Secondary outcome measures

1. Anxiety symptoms: GAD-7
2. Quality of Life: EUROHIS QOL - 8 item index
3. Disability: 'Days Out of Role' questions adapted from US National Comorbidity Survey
4. Perceived Social Support: Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey (MOS)
5. UCLA Loneliness Scale
6. Stigma: Self-stigma of Depression Scale
7. Help-seeking: purpose developed items
8. Self-esteem: Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale
9. Mental Well-being: Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale
10. Empowerment: Empowerment Scale
11. Self-compassion: Self-compassion Scale - Short form
12. Participation in healthcare measure
13. Satisfaction & sser perceived benefits

Overall trial start date

01/06/2011

Overall trial end date

31/01/2013

Reason abandoned

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

1. Over 18 years of age
2. Internet access with email
3. Self-report of current or previous experience of depression

Participant type

Patient

Age group

Adult

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

200

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Current participation in an online support group for depression
2. Diagnosis of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or psychosis

Recruitment start date

01/06/2011

Recruitment end date

31/01/2013

Locations

Countries of recruitment

Australia

Trial participating centre

Australian National University
Canberra
0200
Australia

Sponsor information

Organisation

Australian National University (Australia)

Sponsor details

Centre for Mental Health Research
Building 63
Eggleston Road
Canberra
0200
Australia
-
cmhr@anu.edu.au

Sponsor type

University/education

Website

http://www.anu.edu.au/

Funders

Funder type

Government

Funder name

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC Fellowship ref 525413)

Alternative name(s)

NHMRC

Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

Federal/National Government

Location

Australia

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

08/09/2016: Plain English summary added.