Publications by authors named "J M Newby"

288 Publications

A pilot study of intensive 7-day internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety disorder.

J Anxiety Disord 2021 Sep 2;84:102473. Epub 2021 Sep 2.

School of Psychology, University of New South Wales Sydney, New South Wales 2052, Australia; Black Dog Institute, Randwick, New South Wales 2031, Australia. Electronic address:

Accessible, affordable cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) options for Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) that allow for rapid symptom improvement are needed. The present study investigated the first intensive, 7-day internet-based CBT for SAD. An open pilot trial was conducted to test the acceptability, feasibility and preliminary outcomes of the program in a sample of 16 participants (9 females, M age = 40.34, SD = 10.55) with a DSM-5 diagnosis of SAD. Participants were enrolled into the 6-lesson online program, and completed the Social Phobia Scale [SPS], Social Interaction Anxiety Scale [SIAS], Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS) at baseline, post and one month follow-up. We found support for the feasibility and acceptability of the program; 15 participants (93.8%) completed the program, and all participants reported the program was satisfactory. Large, significant reductions in social anxiety severity on both the SPS and SIAS (Hedges' g = 1.26-1.9) and functional impairment (WSAS; g = 0.88-0.98) were found at post-treatment and follow-up. Medium, significant reductions in depressive symptom severity were also found (g = 0.88-0.98 at post and follow-up, respectively). A third of participants scored below the clinical cut-off on both the SPS and SIAS at post-treatment and follow-up. A randomized controlled trial with longer follow-up is needed to evaluate the efficacy of this intensive internet-based treatment for SAD. Implications and future research directions are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2021.102473DOI Listing
September 2021

Mental Health Screening in General Practices as a Means for Enhancing Uptake of Digital Mental Health Interventions: Observational Cohort Study.

J Med Internet Res 2021 09 16;23(9):e28369. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Black Dog Institute, Randwick, Australia.

Background: Digital mental health interventions stand to play a critical role in managing the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, enhancing their uptake is a key priority. General practitioners (GPs) are well positioned to facilitate access to digital interventions, but tools that assist GPs in identifying suitable patients are lacking.

Objective: This study aims to evaluate the suitability of a web-based mental health screening and treatment recommendation tool (StepCare) for improving the identification of anxiety and depression in general practice and, subsequently, uptake of digital mental health interventions.

Methods: StepCare screens patients for symptoms of depression (9-item Patient Health Questionnaire) and anxiety (7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale) in the GP waiting room. It provides GPs with stepped treatment recommendations that include digital mental health interventions for patients with mild to moderate symptoms. Patients (N=5138) from 85 general practices across Australia were invited to participate in screening.

Results: Screening identified depressive or anxious symptoms in 43.09% (1428/3314) of patients (one-quarter were previously unidentified or untreated). The majority (300/335, 89.6%) of previously unidentified or untreated patients had mild to moderate symptoms and were candidates for digital mental health interventions. Although less than half were prescribed a digital intervention by their GP, when a digital intervention was prescribed, more than two-thirds of patients reported using it.

Conclusions: Implementing web-based mental health screening in general practices can provide important opportunities for GPs to improve the identification of symptoms of mental illness and increase patient access to digital mental health interventions. Although GPs prescribed digital interventions less frequently than in-person psychotherapy or medication, the promising rates of uptake by GP-referred patients suggest that GPs can play a critical role in championing digital interventions and maximizing the associated benefits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/28369DOI Listing
September 2021

Uptake of an online psychological therapy program (iCanADAPT-Early) when implemented within a clinical pathway in cancer care centres.

Psychooncology 2021 Sep 14. Epub 2021 Sep 14.

School of Psychology, The University of Sydney, Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG), Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pon.5808DOI Listing
September 2021

A mixed methods pilot and feasibility open trial of internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy () for people with advanced cancer with depression and/or anxiety.

Internet Interv 2021 Dec 30;26:100449. Epub 2021 Aug 30.

Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD), UNSW, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia.

Purpose: Evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and potential efficacy of a form of online therapy for clinical depression and/or anxiety in people living with advanced cancer.

Methods: A single-arm open trial of a six-lesson clinician-supervised, internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) transdiagnostic intervention () was undertaken. Qualitative (semi-structured telephone interview conducted at 3-months) and quantitative data (questionnaires collected at pre-, post-, and 3-month follow-up) were analysed.

Results: 27 participants partook (26 women, 56% breast cancer, mean age 56yo; average number of mental health diagnoses 1.8, with majority (81%) meeting criteria for generalised anxiety disorder). Unanticipated numbers (48%) of participants had physical health deterioration (cancer progression or death). iCBT had high adherence overall (completion rates: 37% did 6 lessons; 70% did 4 lessons) but adherence was higher for those whose cancer remained stable (completion rates: 43% did 6 lessons; 85% did 4 lessons). - the intervention was acceptable to the majority of participants, with high treatment satisfaction. Advisory data was achieved regarding future versions. - regardless of physical health status, participants who completed the iCBT showed a significant decrease over time in anxiety and depression symptoms.

Conclusions: Online therapies may be useful in assisting those living with advanced cancer dealing with clinical depression and anxiety disorders. The specific modality of clinician supervised iCBT has significant potential to be a suitable modality of online therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2021.100449DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8416957PMC
December 2021

Managing rumination and worry: A pilot study of an internet intervention targeting repetitive negative thinking in Australian adults.

J Affect Disord 2021 Nov 23;294:483-490. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Black Dog Institute, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia.

Background: Rumination and worry, both forms of repetitive negative thinking (RNT), have been implicated in the onset, maintenance, severity, and relapse risk of depression and anxiety disorders. Despite promising initial findings for internet-delivered interventions targeting both rumination and worry simultaneously, no studies have investigated treatment effects in an adult population or when delivered in a brief, unguided format. We developed a 3-lesson unguided online treatment program targeting both rumination and worry and evaluated the adherence and effectiveness in Australian adults using an open pilot trial.

Methods: Adult participants (N=26) experiencing elevated levels of RNT completed the online program over 6-weeks. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, post-treatment, and 1-month follow-up. Intention-to-treat linear mixed models were used to examine effects on RNT, anxiety, depression, and general psychological distress.

Results: Of the 26 participants who started the program, 18 completed all three lessons (69.2% completion rate). Large within-subject effect sizes were found between pre- and post-treatment for RNT (Hedges' g= 2.26) and symptoms of depression (g = 1.04), generalised anxiety (g = 1.82) and distress (g = 0.93). Treatment effects were maintained at 1-month follow-up.

Limitations: No long-term follow-up, exclusion of severely depressed individuals.

Conclusions: This is the first study to evaluate a brief, unguided internet intervention targeting both rumination and worry in adults. The results provide promising preliminary evidence for the feasibility and acceptability of the online program. Randomised controlled trials are needed to evaluate treatment efficacy compared to a control group and to investigate long-term outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.07.076DOI Listing
November 2021
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