The purpose of the European project MasterMind is to deploy an online cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) programme to combat depression within an integrated intervention.
Before starting the intervention, all the regions analysed the existing online programmes to ascertain how they should be adapted from a clinical, technical and economic perspective or if a new programme was needed. The project was carried out in two stages. Five regions participated in the first stage, and in the second stage, nine, including the Basque Country.
Before the programmes were implemented, they were validated and tested by the healthcare professionals, in order to meet all the needs established in the project. The CBT implemented in the second stage were the following:
Wales opted for the programme “Beating the Blues”, an online treatment approved to combat depression, developed and validated in the United Kingdom by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), which complies with the local cultural requirements.
Piedmont and Treviso (Italy) chose the programme “iFight Depression”. Both Italian partners based their decision for this programme on two reasons: data storage and management, and affordable costs that guarantee the continuity of the service beyond the MasterMind project. Estonia also chose the programme “iFight Depression” because the programme was available in its language.
Turkey implemented the programme “Top Sende”, a tool developed and tested by the Middle East Technical University. In order for the platform to be compatible with the modules established in the project CBT, some small changes were introduced in the platform.
In regard to the regions of Spain, the cluster made up of Badalona, Aragon, Galicia and the Basque Country developed the programme “Super@ tu depresión”, based on already existing therapies. When defining the therapy and the modules of “Super@ tu depresión”, homogeneous clinical content and a similar intervention were agreed on according to the cultural needs of the four regions.
The lessons learnt by these regions can be useful for others that are planning to implement CBT programmes. These are:
- The communication and coordination between healthcare professionals must be close and comprehensive in order to guarantee the quality of the clinical content of the therapies.
- The extent of the content and the number of activities/questionnaires to be done by the patients must be limited in order to facilitate the patients’ comprehension. .
- The platform must be intuitive in order to prevent difficulties in using it.
- The implementation of elements that show general progress in each of the modules is important in regard to acceptance.
- The online therapies must keep the patients’ perspective in mind in order to meet their needs and improve adherence.
- The reference healthcare professionals need to carry out monitoring and rigorous, continuous follow-up of the treatments.
- The collaboration between the pilot regions in the same country, for Italy and Spain, reinforces the validity and transfer of the online programmes.
- The integration of the CBT programmes in the healthcare information systems facilitates the sustainability of the therapies once the project is concluded.
If you want to know more about this project, click here.