Montanans needed for online behavior program to help with stress, mood

Montana State University’s Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery is collaborating with MSU Extension and One Montana to evaluate an internet-based Cognitive Behavior Therapy program designed to help Montanans cope with stress and improve their mood. Project leaders hope to recruit hundreds of Montanans for the study.

The iCBT program, called Thrive-Montana, has an interactive video-based interface designed to respond to input from users and provide guidance in areas that users deem important in their lives. So far in open trials, the program has been shown to decrease the frequency of depressive symptoms and improve the quality of life. Multiple prior randomized controlled trials have shown that similar iCBT programs are effective for depression and anxiety. This study will compare severity of depressive symptoms between program users and those randomized to the control group.

To be eligible to join the study, one must be a current Montana adult resident, have regular access to broadband internet, and have depressive symptoms that are at least mild (determined by a set of screening questions). Persons can determine their eligibility to join the study by entering thriveformontana.com in their web browser and provide responses to a few questions. If deemed eligible, persons may automatically enroll in the study and will be assigned to either receive the Thrive program immediately, or for those assigned to the control group, eight weeks after starting the study.

As part of the study, participants will be asked to complete brief assessments related to their mood online. Participants will receive assessment reminders by emails with directions on how to access the assessment portal online. Assessments will occur at four and eight weeks and six and 12 months from the enrollment date. The control group will have two additional assessments. Participants will receive a small stipend for each completed assessment starting at four weeks from enrollment.

Persons with questions or inquiries may contact either the Principal Investigator Dr. Mark Schure at (406) 994-3248 (mark.schure@montana.edu) or the Study Coordinator at (406) 994-3247 (msuthrive@montana.edu).

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