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The Trial

We Need Your Help to Help People with Depression

The RID trial will test web-based self-help programmes for depression that have been used in Australia and Norway. We want to find out if these programmes will also help people in New Zealand.

Initially interested and potential participants will be asked to complete an online application form that includes a set of screening questions to find out if the programmes being offered might be helpful for them.

Everyone who completes the application process may not necessarily be able to join the trial if the responses they give indicate the programmes might not be the best option for them for their current personal situation.

Nevertheless, we hope that potential participants will be able to use the information on "Sources of help and information" to consult their doctor or primary care health provider about their current mental health and/or identify alternative therapeutic programmes to consider and access for their benefit.

On successful completion of the application process, enrolled participants will be randomly assigned (that is by chance) to one of three groups to access specific online programmes and complete sets of exercises at their own pace over four weeks.

Before they access the online programmes, participants will be invited to complete an online assessment about their recent moods, feelings and thoughts.

In the following four weeks, they will receive their online programmes referred to above, which provide relevant information and/or the opportunity to work through a number of exercises on the internet and revise the material in the last week. The programmes are designed to help participants manage their depression and common mental health problems. The weekly online programs remain open for participants to access until they receive the next online program.

In the fifth week, participants will be invited to complete a set of questions about their recent moods, feelings and thoughts and again at six monthly intervals for two years. Each assessment on these five separate occasions should take about one hour and is accessible to participants until the next online assessment becomes available.

The responses given to each of these assessments will be compared with the responses given for the initial assessment on recent moods, feelings and thoughts to find out how helpful the online programmes may have been in affecting participants' later moods, feelings and thoughts both in the short and long-term periods.

These regular assessments could be regarded by participants as a "self-check"on their well-being since they commenced the trial and completed their online programs. The assessments are a very important part of the trial for reasons given above and therefore we would very much appreciate it if all participants do their best to complete the six-monthly online mental health assessments during the trial period.

A diagram is available to describe the 13 steps or stages in the trial described above.

By participating in this trial, you may help yourself and others; if the trial shows that the web-based self-help therapy programmes work they may be made available free to all in New Zealand who need them.

Copies of a poster, pamphlet and postcard1 and postcard2 are available if you wish to display or distribute these to members of your organisations or groups.

Further Information

If you would like more information about the trial please see our Information Sheet for Participants or to make contact, please email us.

If you would like information on the Multi-Region Ethics Committee that reviewed and approved this study, please visit its web site.

University of Otago Recovery via the Internet from Depression Research Study