A qualitative examination of low-intensity cognitive behaviour therapy to reduce anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic

Sarah J. Egan, Roz Shafran, Tracey D. Wade, Sarah Ure, Christopher Gill, Lienke Wilker, Rebecca Anderson, Trevor Mazzucchelli, Peter McEvoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on mental health. There is an urgent need to deliver low-intensity cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) tailored to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic. The aim was to engage in a qualitative study of participants’ views surrounding anxiety and depression during the pandemic and feedback on the acceptability and usefulness of a low-intensity CBT intervention during the pandemic to inform intervention development and refinement. Method: There were 21 participants (21–80 years, M = 40.90 years, SD = 16.33; 71% female) from Australia who participated in qualitative interviews who had completed low-intensity CBT for anxiety and depression during the pandemic.      Results: Themes emerged including the negative impact of the pandemic on mental health, prior experience of psychological therapy, acceptability, and usefulness of the intervention, participants’ ideas for intervention improvement, and preferences for using the guide. The majority of participants reported the intervention was useful, however, suggested several areas including content and format to improve the intervention and feedback on what they would prefer for an intervention. Conclusions: A low-intensity CBT intervention was reported as useful and acceptable by participants for their concerns related to the pandemic and exacerbation of pre-existing anxiety and depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-230
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Psychologist
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • cognitive behaviour therapy
  • COVID-19
  • internet
  • low intensity
  • Qualitative

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