Category: Technology


Mood Management Effects of a Brief Behavioral Activation Internet Intervention

Friday, November 17
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom O & P, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Technology / Mobile Health | Adult Depression | Behavioral Activation
Presentation Type: Symposium

Background: Users typically visit Internet sites only once. This study investigated the effect of a brief unsupported Internet intervention to improve mood, via a randomized control trial comparing an activities condition to a waitlist control (WLC).

Methods: A total of 754 participants were recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (AMT) (M age = 35.87 years (SD=12.6); 29.3% male); 187 individuals (24.4% of the original sample) completed the one week follow-up survey. Participants were randomly assigned to an Activities condition or a WLC, and assessed for depression (PHQ-9),  anxiety (GAD-7), mood, confidence, motivation, and perceived usefulness of the intervention.

Results:  Mixed-effects modeling was used to determine the within-subjects effect (time) and between-subjects effect (WL vs. Activities condition). Significant main effects for time were found for PHQ-9 depression scores (F(1, 393) = 13.24, p <.001), GAD-7 anxiety scores (F 1, 393) = 8.36, p <.01) and subjective ratings of confidence (F (1, 387) = 4.94, p < .05), such that depression and anxiety scores were lower and confidence was higher at the second time-point, regardless of condition. Furthermore, a significant time by condition interaction was found for self-reported mood (F (1, 387) = 4.24, p <.05), where individuals who received the intervention had a more positive mood at follow-up than both conditions at baseline. This score was not significantly different from the waitlist condition at follow-up (p = .39). However, notable baseline differences were found between groups, with the WL condition having a higher mood score at time 1. Individuals in the WL condition did not report improvements in subjective mood at follow-up (p = 0.056).

Conclusions: Overall findings did not show significant improvements for the brief Activities condition compared to the WLC. Though individuals in the study did not demonstrate improvements in PHQ-related mood symptoms, those in the Activities condition did demonstrate a boost in self-reported mood from baseline to follow-up that was not evident in the WLC condition.

Eduardo L. Bunge

Associate Professor
Palo Alto University


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Mood Management Effects of a Brief Behavioral Activation Internet Intervention

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