Objective: The aim of the present study was to examine whether low-resource, cost-effective intervention programs can be effective in improving depressed mood in people with HIV. The efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral self-help program (CBS) and a computerized structured writing intervention (SWI) were tested in a pilot randomized controlled trial.
Methods: Participants were members of a patient organization. They completed a pretest and posttest. The questionnaire included the HADS. Participants were randomly allocated to CBS (n = 24), SWI (n = 25) or a waiting list condition (WLC, n = 24). To evaluate changes in the continuous outcome measure, a 3 x 2 (group x time) repeated measures ANCOVA was performed. Also, an ANCOVA was performed using change scores.
Results: Respondents who followed the CBS improved significantly compared to the WLC. However, for people in the SWI condition no significant improvement on depression was found.
Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that a low-resource, cost-effective CBS program seems to be effective in reducing depressed mood in people living with HIV. Practice implications: Because self-help programs can be delivered through regular mail or the internet, a high number of people could be reached while overcoming geographical and social barriers to treatment. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.