The exploring continued care options (ECCO) trial examined the effectiveness of an Internet-based intervention for treating depression with callers to a national telephone counselling service (Lifeline).
The project used a randomised controlled trial to assess whether the MoodGYM and BluePages websites are effective at reducing symptoms of depression when used as an adjunct to telephone counselling. These resources have been previously shown to reduce depression symptoms in a population with elevated depressive symptomatology.The project also aimed to show whether tracking callers through the interventions (calling them back at regular intervals) has more of an effect than not tracking callers.
The results found that MoodGYM and BluePages, when provided with and without ongoing telephone tracking, were effective in reducing depression in Lifeline callers.
Future analyses will focus on long term effectiveness and other outcome variables.
This project is a collaboration between e-hub and Lifeline Australia.
The ECCO Project recently won a Silver Award at The Mental Health Services Achievement Awards, in the category of e-health. The award was presented in Sydney on 15 September 2010 at the TheMHS conference, an international mental health educational forum that attracts over 1000 mental health clinicians, managers, consumers, carers, researchers, educators and policy makers annually.