An online self-help programme for people with HIV and depressive symptoms
To investigate the effectiveness of an online self-help programme for people with HIV and depressive symptoms.
Many people with HIV (PLH) suffer from depressive symptoms. Various therapies have been developed for PLH with depressive symptoms. Many of these therapies consist of individualized or group-based cognitive behavioural therapy and proved to be effective. However, a disadvantage of these intervention programmes is their high costs and the demands they place on patients as well as professionals in terms of arranging and scheduling visits. Furthermore, for HIV-specific programmes, stigma is a significant barrier to service delivery and utilization. Therefore, a CBT self-help booklet was developed for PLH with depressive symptoms. In a pilot study, the booklet was effective in reducing depressed mood in PLH. Recently, the self-help booklet was converted into an internet version. An online programme has a lower stigma, is easier accessible, can reach more people and has reduced costs.
The effectiveness of the online self-help programme will be studied in a randomized controlled trial. Approximately 200 participants will be tested and they will be approached in at least 21 HIV treatment centers. The self-help program is based on elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Motivational support is provided throughout the programme.
This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an online self-help intervention for people with HIV and depressive symptoms. If the intervention is shown to be effective, the program will be implemented and consequently many patients with HIV could be reached and psychological care for these patients may be improved.