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Online Support Groups for Depression and Anxiety

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01149265
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified July 2010 by University College, London.
Recruitment status was:  Active, not recruiting
First Posted : June 23, 2010
Last Update Posted : July 21, 2010
Information provided by:
University College, London

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of online support groups for anxiety and depression.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Depression Anxiety Behavioral: Online support group Behavioral: Expressive writing Phase 1 Phase 2

Detailed Description:

In recent years the number of online support groups for conditions like depression and anxiety has grown rapidly. Millions of people are thought to be using them around the world. This research aims to help find out whether the use of online support groups is beneficial and to learn more about what happens in these groups.

This research will compare online support groups with expressive writing. Expressive writing involves people writing about their thoughts and feelings, often upsetting ones, for a short period of time. In online support groups giving and receiving support from others can be helpful while expressive writing about emotional issues can be cathartic.

1,000 participants will be recruited online from the UK, USA and Canada and randomly assigned to either an existing online support group or to an expressive writing condition.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 1000 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Randomised Controlled Trial of an Existing Online Support Group for Depression and Anxiety
Study Start Date : May 2010
Estimated Primary Completion Date : February 2011
Estimated Study Completion Date : February 2011

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Anxiety

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Online support group Behavioral: Online support group
Expressive writing involves people writing about their thoughts and feelings, often upsetting ones, for a short period of time.

Active Comparator: Expressive writing Behavioral: Expressive writing
Online support groups are internet forums where like-minded people give and receive both informational and emotional support.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale [ Time Frame: Zero, three and six months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Satisfaction with Life Scale [ Time Frame: Zero, three and six months ]
  2. The Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey [ Time Frame: Zero, three and six months ]
  3. Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment [ Time Frame: Zero, three and six months ]
  4. The Illness perception questionnaire [ Time Frame: Zero, three and six months ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Self-defined depression & anxiety
  • Resident in the UK, US or Canada
  • Access to the internet

Exclusion Criteria:


Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01149265

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United Kingdom
University College London
London, United Kingdom, WC1E 6BT
Sponsors and Collaborators
University College, London
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Principal Investigator: Chris Barker University College, London
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Dr Chris Barker, University College London Identifier: NCT01149265    
Other Study ID Numbers: UCL1376/001
First Posted: June 23, 2010    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: July 21, 2010
Last Verified: July 2010
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Depressive Disorder
Anxiety Disorders
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders