Publications by authors named "Sarah Paganini"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Quality of Physical Activity Apps: Systematic Search in App Stores and Content Analysis.

JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2021 Jun 9;9(6):e22587. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of Psychology and Education, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany.

Background: Physical inactivity is a major contributor to the development and persistence of chronic diseases. Mobile health apps that foster physical activity have the potential to assist in behavior change. However, the quality of the mobile health apps available in app stores is hard to assess for making informed decisions by end users and health care providers.

Objective: This study aimed at systematically reviewing and analyzing the content and quality of physical activity apps available in the 2 major app stores (Google Play and App Store) by using the German version of the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS-G). Moreover, the privacy and security measures were assessed.

Methods: A web crawler was used to systematically search for apps promoting physical activity in the Google Play store and App Store. Two independent raters used the MARS-G to assess app quality. Further, app characteristics, content and functions, and privacy and security measures were assessed. The correlation between user star ratings and MARS was calculated. Exploratory regression analysis was conducted to determine relevant predictors for the overall quality of physical activity apps.

Results: Of the 2231 identified apps, 312 met the inclusion criteria. The results indicated that the overall quality was moderate (mean 3.60 [SD 0.59], range 1-4.75). The scores of the subscales, that is, information (mean 3.24 [SD 0.56], range 1.17-4.4), engagement (mean 3.19 [SD 0.82], range 1.2-5), aesthetics (mean 3.65 [SD 0.79], range 1-5), and functionality (mean 4.35 [SD 0.58], range 1.88-5) were obtained. An efficacy study could not be identified for any of the included apps. The features of data security and privacy were mainly not applied. Average user ratings showed significant small correlations with the MARS ratings (r=0.22, 95% CI 0.08-0.35; P<.001). The amount of content and number of functions were predictive of the overall quality of these physical activity apps, whereas app store and price were not.

Conclusions: Apps for physical activity showed a broad range of quality ratings, with moderate overall quality ratings. Given the present privacy, security, and evidence concerns inherent to most rated apps, their medical use is questionable. There is a need for open-source databases of expert quality ratings to foster informed health care decisions by users and health care providers.
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June 2021

Systematic evaluation of content and quality of English and German pain apps in European app stores.

Internet Interv 2021 Apr 24;24:100376. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of Psychology, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Engelberger Str. 41, 79106 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.

Background And Objective: Pain spans a broad spectrum of diseases and types that are highly prevalent and cause substantial disease burden for individuals and society. Up to 40% of people affected by pain receive no or inadequate treatment. Providing a scalable, time-, and location-independent way for pain diagnostic, management, prevention and treatment mobile health applications (MHA) might be a promising approach to improve health care for pain. However, the commercial app market is rapidly growing and unregulated, resulting in an opaque market. Studies investigating the content, privacy and security features, quality and scientific evidence of the available apps are highly needed, to guide patients and clinicians to high quality MHA.Contributing to this challenge, the present study investigates the content, quality, and privacy features of pain apps available in the European app stores.

Methods: An automated search engine was used to identify pain apps in the European Google Play and Apple App store. Pain apps were screened and checked for systematic criteria (pain-relatedness, functionality, availability, independent usability, English or German). Content, quality and privacy features were assessed by two independent reviewers using the German Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS-G). The MARS-G assesses quality on four objectives (engagement, functionality, aesthetics, information quality) and two subjective scales (perceived impact, subjective quality).

Results: Out of 1034 identified pain apps 218 were included. Pain apps covered eight different pain types. Content included basic information, advice, assessment and tracking, and stand-alone interventions. The overall quality of the pain apps was average M = 3.13 (SD = 0.56, min = 1, max = 4.69). The effectiveness of less than 1% of the included pain apps was evaluated in a randomized controlled trial. Major problems with data privacy were present: 59% provided no imprint, 70% had no visible privacy policy.

Conclusion: A multitude of pain apps is available. Most MHA lack scientific evaluation and have serious privacy issues, posing a potential threat to users. Further research on evidence and improvements privacy and security are needed. Overall, the potential of pain apps is not exploited.
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April 2021

Effectiveness of a Guided Internet- and Mobile-Based Intervention for Patients with Chronic Back Pain and Depression (WARD-BP): A Multicenter, Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial.

Psychother Psychosom 2020 Dec 15:1-14. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Introduction: There is neither strong evidence on effective treatments for patients with chronic back pain (CBP) and depressive disorder nor sufficiently available mental health care offers.

Objective: The aim is to assess the effectiveness of internet- and mobile-based interventions (IMI) as a scalable approach for treating depression in a routine care setting.

Methods: This is an observer-masked, multicenter, pragmatic randomized controlled trial with a randomization ratio of 1:1.Patients with CBP and diagnosed depressive disorder (mild to moderate severity) were recruited from 82 orthopedic rehabilitation clinics across Germany. The intervention group (IG) received a guided depression IMI tailored to CBP next to treatment-as-usual (TAU; including medication), while the control group (CG) received TAU. The primary outcome was observer-masked clinician-rated Hamilton depression severity (9-week follow-up). The secondary outcomes were: further depression outcomes, pain-related outcomes, health-related quality of life, and work capacity. Biostatistician blinded analyses using regression models were conducted by intention-to-treat and per protocol analysis.

Results: Between October 2015 and July 2017, we randomly assigned 210 participants (IG, n = 105; CG, n = 105), mostly with only a mild pain intensity but substantial pain disability. No statistically significant difference in depression severity between IG and CG was observed at the 9-week follow-up (β = -0.19, 95% CI -0.43 to 0.05). Explorative secondary depression (4/9) and pain-related (4/6) outcomes were in part significant (p < 0.05). Health-related quality of life was significantly higher in the IG. No differences were found in work capacity.

Conclusion: The results indicate that an IMI for patients with CBP and depression in a routine care setting has limited impact on depression. Benefits in pain and health-related outcomes suggest that an IMI might still be a useful measure to improve routine care.
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December 2020

Validation of the Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS).

PLoS One 2020 2;15(11):e0241480. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of Psychology and Education, University Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

Background: Mobile health apps (MHA) have the potential to improve health care. The commercial MHA market is rapidly growing, but the content and quality of available MHA are unknown. Instruments for the assessment of the quality and content of MHA are highly needed. The Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS) is one of the most widely used tools to evaluate the quality of MHA. Only few validation studies investigated its metric quality. No study has evaluated the construct validity and concurrent validity.

Objective: This study evaluates the construct validity, concurrent validity, reliability, and objectivity, of the MARS.

Methods: Data was pooled from 15 international app quality reviews to evaluate the metric properties of the MARS. The MARS measures app quality across four dimensions: engagement, functionality, aesthetics and information quality. Construct validity was evaluated by assessing related competing confirmatory models by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Non-centrality (RMSEA), incremental (CFI, TLI) and residual (SRMR) fit indices were used to evaluate the goodness of fit. As a measure of concurrent validity, the correlations to another quality assessment tool (ENLIGHT) were investigated. Reliability was determined using Omega. Objectivity was assessed by intra-class correlation.

Results: In total, MARS ratings from 1,299 MHA covering 15 different health domains were included. Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed a bifactor model with a general factor and a factor for each dimension (RMSEA = 0.074, TLI = 0.922, CFI = 0.940, SRMR = 0.059). Reliability was good to excellent (Omega 0.79 to 0.93). Objectivity was high (ICC = 0.82). MARS correlated with ENLIGHT (ps<.05).

Conclusion: The metric evaluation of the MARS demonstrated its suitability for the quality assessment. As such, the MARS could be used to make the quality of MHA transparent to health care stakeholders and patients. Future studies could extend the present findings by investigating the re-test reliability and predictive validity of the MARS.
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December 2020

A group- and smartphone-based psychological intervention to increase and maintain physical activity in patients with musculoskeletal conditions: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial ("MoVo-App").

Trials 2020 Jun 8;21(1):502. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Department of Sport Psychology, Institute of Sports and Sport Science, University of Freiburg, Schwarzwaldstrasse 175, 79117, Freiburg, Germany.

Background: Interventions designed to increase the level of physical activity are crucial in the treatment of patients with musculoskeletal conditions. The psychological group-based intervention MoVo-LISA based on the Motivation-Volition (MoVo) Process Model has been shown to effectively promote physical activity. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether a MoVo-based app (MoVo-App) subsequent to MoVo-LISA during orthopedic inpatient care can support people to increase and maintain their amount of physical activity.

Methods/design: In this parallel-group randomized controlled trial, patients with musculoskeletal disorders will be randomized to either (a) a combination of the group-based intervention program MoVo-LISA to promote physical activity plus the MoVo-App or (b) the group-based intervention program alone without the app. The intervention group will receive the MoVo-App after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation. They receive help to increase and maintain their level of physical activity (initiated by the group program) by tracking their health goals, activity plans, major barriers, and barrier management that were developed during the group-based program. We will recruit 224 initially minimally active participants during orthopedic rehabilitation care. Outcomes are assessed at clinic admission; discharge; 6 weeks; and 3 (post-treatment), 6, and 12 months after discharge (follow-up). The primary outcome is sport activity (active/inactive and minutes of activity) at 6-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes are movement activity, cognitive mediators of behavioral change (e.g., self-efficacy, action planning), and health-related variables (e.g., pain intensity, depression). To evaluate intervention effects, linear mixed effects models (both on intention-to-treat basis with an additional per-protocol analysis) will be conducted with each outcome variable and with time as the within-subjects factor and group as the between-subjects factor, along with all two-way interactions and accounting for covariates as fixed effects.

Discussion: This is the first evaluation of the effectiveness of an app in combination with a face-to-face group intervention to promote physical activity. The approach of using an app in addition to an effective face-to-face intervention program, both based on the MoVo model, might sustain positive intervention effects introduced in routine health care.

Trial Registration: The trial "A group- and smartphone-based psychological intervention to increase physical activity in patients with musculoskeletal conditions: A randomized controlled trial" is registered at the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform via the German Clinical Studies Trial Register (DRKS), DRKS00014814. Registered on 18 October 2018; URL:
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June 2020

Effectiveness of a Guided Web-Based Self-help Intervention to Prevent Depression in Patients With Persistent Back Pain: The PROD-BP Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Psychiatry 2020 10;77(10):1001-1011

Institute of Psychology and Education, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

Importance: Depression is a frequent comorbid condition in patients with persistent back pain and is associated with substantial adverse consequences, including the risk of developing opioid use disorders. Shifting the focus from depression treatment to preventing depression might be a viable way to reduce the disease burden.

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a web-based self-help intervention to reduce the incidence of major depressive episode (MDE) in patients with persistent back pain.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Prevention of Depression in Back Pain Patients (PROD-BP) was a pragmatic, observer-blinded randomized clinical trial with a parallel design conducted in Germany. Eligible adults with a diagnosis of persistent back pain and subclinical depressive symptoms, but who were depression free, were recruited either on-site or after discharge from 82 orthopedic clinics between October 1, 2015, and July 31, 2017. All analyses were conducted according to the intention-to-treat principle from October 31, 2018, to April 30, 2019.

Interventions: The intervention group received an e-coach-guided, web-based self-help intervention that was based on cognitive behavioral therapy and tailored to the needs of patients with persistent back pain. The intervention included 6 obligatory modules and 3 optional modules to be completed by participants as well as feedback from e-coaches. Both the intervention and control groups had unrestricted access to treatment as usual.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Primary outcome was time to onset of an MDE over a 12-month period as assessed by blinded diagnostic raters using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5. Secondary outcomes included depression severity, quality of life, pain intensity, pain-related disability, pain self-efficacy, work capacity, and user satisfaction assessed with a variety of instruments.

Results: A total of 295 participants (mean [SD] age, 52.8 [7.7] years; 184 women [62.4%]) were recruited and randomized to either the intervention group (n = 149) or control group (n = 146). The intervention reduced the risk of MDE onset by 52% (hazard ratio, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.28-0.81; P < .001). Twenty-one participants (14.1%) in the intervention group and 41 participants (28.1%) in the control group experienced an MDE over the 12-month period. The number needed to treat to prevent 1 new case of MDE was 2.84 (95% CI, 1.79-9.44).

Conclusions And Relevance: Results of this trial showed that among patients with persistent back pain, depression can be prevented by a guided web-based self-help intervention in addition to treatment as usual. This finding suggests that using a scalable digital approach to integrate psychological treatment into routine pain management is feasible.

Trial Registration: German Clinical Trials Register Identifier: DRKS00007960.
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October 2020

A Web- and Mobile-Based Intervention for Comorbid, Recurrent Depression in Patients With Chronic Back Pain on Sick Leave (Get.Back): Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial on Feasibility, User Satisfaction, and Effectiveness.

JMIR Ment Health 2020 Apr 15;7(4):e16398. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Background: Chronic back pain (CBP) is linked to a higher prevalence and higher occurrence of major depressive disorder (MDD) and can lead to reduced quality of life. Unfortunately, individuals with both CBP and recurrent MDD are underidentified. Utilizing health care insurance data may provide a possibility to better identify this complex population. In addition, internet- and mobile-based interventions might enhance the availability of existing treatments and provide help to those highly burdened individuals.

Objective: This pilot randomized controlled trial investigated the feasibility of recruitment via the health records of a German health insurance company. The study also examined user satisfaction and effectiveness of a 9-week cognitive behavioral therapy and Web- and mobile-based guided self-help intervention Get.Back in CBP patients with recurrent MDD on sick leave compared with a waitlist control condition.

Methods: Health records from a German health insurance company were used to identify and recruit participants (N=76) via invitation letters. Study outcomes were measured using Web-based self-report assessments at baseline, posttreatment (9 weeks), and a 6-month follow-up. The primary outcome was depressive symptom severity (Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression); secondary outcomes included anxiety (Hamilton Anxiety and Depression Scale), quality of life (Assessment of Quality of Life), pain-related variables (Oswestry Disability Index, Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire, and pain intensity), and negative effects (Inventory for the Assessment of Negative Effects of Psychotherapy).

Results: The total enrollment rate with the recruitment strategy used was 1.26% (76/6000). Participants completed 4.8 modules (SD 2.6, range 0-7) of Get.Back. The overall user satisfaction was favorable (mean Client Satisfaction Questionnaire score=24.5, SD 5.2). Covariance analyses showed a small but statistically significant reduction in depressive symptom severity in the intervention group (n=40) at posttreatment compared with the waitlist control group (n=36; F=3.62, P=.03; d=0.28, 95% CI -0.17 to 0.74). Similar findings were noted for the reduction of anxiety symptoms (F=10.45; P=.001; d=0.14, 95% CI -0.31 to 0.60) at posttreatment. Other secondary outcomes were nonsignificant (.06≤P≤.44). At the 6-month follow-up, the difference between the groups with regard to reduction in depressive symptom severity was no longer statistically significant (F=1.50, P=.11; d=0.10, 95% CI -0.34 to 0.46). The between-group difference in anxiety at posttreatment was maintained to follow-up (F=2.94, P=.04; d=0.38, 95% CI -0.07 to 0.83). There were no statistically significant differences across groups regarding other secondary outcomes at the 6-month follow-up (.08≤P≤.42).

Conclusions: These results suggest that participants with comorbid depression and CBP on sick leave may benefit from internet- and mobile-based interventions, as exemplified with the positive user satisfaction ratings. The recruitment strategy via health insurance letter invitations appeared feasible, but more research is needed to understand how response rates in untreated individuals with CBP and comorbid depression can be increased.

Trial Registration: German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00010820; navigationId=trial.HTML&TRIAL_ID=DRKS00010820.
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April 2020

A guided and unguided internet- and mobile-based intervention for chronic pain: health economic evaluation alongside a randomised controlled trial.

BMJ Open 2019 04 9;9(4):e023390. Epub 2019 Apr 9.

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

Objective: This study aims at evaluating the cost-effectiveness and cost-utility of a guided and unguided internet-based intervention for chronic pain patients (ACTonPain and ACTonPain) compared with a waitlist control group (CG) as well as the comparative cost-effectiveness of the guided and the unguided version.

Design: This is a health economic evaluation alongside a three-arm randomised controlled trial from a societal perspective. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 9 weeks and 6 months after randomisation.

Setting: Participants were recruited through online and offline strategies and in collaboration with a health insurance company.

Participants: 302 adults (≥18 years, pain for at least 6 months) were randomly allocated to one of the three groups (ACTonPain, ACTonPain, CG).

Interventions: ACTonPain consists of seven modules and is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. ACTonPain and ACTonPain only differ in provision of human support.

Primary And Secondary Outcome Measures: Main outcomes of the cost-effectiveness and the cost-utility analyses were meaningful change in pain interference (treatment response) and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), respectively. Economic evaluation estimates were the incremental cost-effectiveness and cost-utility ratio (ICER/ICUR).

Results: At 6-month follow-up, treatment response and QALYs were highest in ACTonPain (44% and 0.280; mean costs = €6,945), followed by ACTonPain (28% and 0.266; mean costs = €6,560) and the CG (16% and 0.244; mean costs = €6,908). ACTonPain vs CG revealed an ICER of €45 and an ICUR of €604.ACTonPain dominated CG. At a willingness-to-pay of €0 the probability of being cost-effective was 50% for ACTonPain (vs CG, for both treatment response and QALY gained) and 67% for ACTonPain (vs CG, for both treatment response and QALY gained). These probabilities rose to 95% when society's willingness-to-pay is €91,000 (ACTonPain) and €127,000 (ACTonPain) per QALY gained. ACTonPain vs ACTonPain revealed an ICER of €2,374 and an ICUR of €45,993.

Conclusions: Depending on society's willingness-to-pay, ACTonPain is a potentially cost-effective adjunct to established pain treatment. ACTonPain (vs CG) revealed lower costs at better health outcomes. However, uncertainty has to be considered. Direct comparison of the two interventions does not indicate a preference for ACTonPain.

Trial Registration Number: DRKS00006183.
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April 2019

Processing of Emotional Faces in Patients with Chronic Pain Disorder: An Eye-Tracking Study.

Front Psychiatry 2018 5;9:63. Epub 2018 Mar 5.

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Medical University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Objective: Problems in emotion processing potentially contribute to the development and maintenance of chronic pain. Theories focusing on attentional processing have suggested that dysfunctional attention deployment toward emotional information, i.e., attentional biases for negative emotions, might entail one potential developmental and/or maintenance factor of chronic pain.

Methods: We assessed self-reported alexithymia, attentional orienting to and maintenance on emotional stimuli using eye tracking in 17 patients with chronic pain disorder (CP) and two age- and sex-matched control groups, 17 healthy individuals (HC) and 17 individuals who were matched to CP according to depressive symptoms (DC). In a choice viewing paradigm, a dot indicated the position of the emotional picture in the next trial to allow for strategic attention deployment. Picture pairs consisted of a happy or sad facial expression and a neutral facial expression of the same individual. Participants were asked to explore picture pairs freely.

Results: CP and DC groups reported higher alexithymia than the HC group. HC showed a previously reported by preferentially orienting to the emotional face and preferentially maintaining on the happy face. CP and DC participants showed no facilitated early attention to sad facial expressions, and DC participants showed no facilitated early attention to happy facial expressions, while CP and DC participants did. We found no group differences in attentional maintenance.

Conclusion: Our findings are in line with the clinical large overlap between pain and depression. The blunted initial reaction to sadness could be interpreted as a failure of the attentional system to attend to evolutionary salient emotional stimuli or as an attempt to suppress negative emotions. These difficulties in emotion processing might contribute to etiology or maintenance of chronic pain and depression.
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March 2018

Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a guided internet- and mobile-based depression intervention for individuals with chronic back pain: protocol of a multi-centre randomised controlled trial.

BMJ Open 2017 12 28;7(12):e015226. Epub 2017 Dec 28.

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of Psychology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

Introduction: Depression often co-occurs with chronic back pain (CBP). Internet and mobile-based interventions (IMIs) might be a promising approach for effectively treating depression in this patient group. In the present study, we will evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a guided depression IMI for individuals with CBP (eSano BackCare-D) integrated into orthopaedic healthcare.

Methods And Analysis: In this multicentre randomised controlled trial of parallel design, the groups eSano BackCare-D versus treatment as usual will be compared. 210 participants with CBP and diagnosed depression will be recruited subsequent to orthopaedic rehabilitation care. Assessments will be conducted prior to randomisation and 9 weeks (post-treatment) and 6 months after randomisation. The primary outcome is depression severity (Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression-17). Secondary outcomes are depression remission and response, health-related quality of life, pain intensity, pain-related disability, self-efficacy and work capacity. Demographic and medical variables as well as internet affinity, intervention adherence, intervention satisfaction and negative effects will also be assessed. Data will be analysed on an intention-to-treat basis with additional per-protocol analyses. Moreover, a cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis will be conducted from a societal perspective after 6 months.

Ethics And Dissemination: All procedures are approved by the ethics committee of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg and the data security committee of the German Pension Insurance (Deutsche Rentenversicherung). The results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented on international conferences.

Trial Registration Number: DRKS00009272; Pre-results.
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December 2017

An Internet-Based Intervention for Chronic Pain.

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2017 Oct;114(41):681-688

Department of Rehabilitational Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of Psychology, University of Freiburg; Psychology Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK; Private Practice, Freiburg; Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of Psychology, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg; Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Sweden; Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, and Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychiatry, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of Psychology and Education Science, University of Ulm.

Background: Persons with chronic pain can be treated effectively with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). In this trial, we examined the effectiveness of guided and unguided ACT-based online treatment (ACTonPain) for chronic pain patients.

Methods: 302 individuals were randomly assigned to ACTonPain with or without guidance (n = 100/101) or to a waiting-list control group (n=101). The primary outcome was pain interference as measured by the Multidimensional Pain Inventory. The secondary outcomes were physical and emotional functioning, pain intensity, ACT process variables, quality of life, satisfaction with the intervention, adherence, and participants' rating of overall improvement. The online measurements were carried out before randomization (T0) and 9 weeks and 6 months after randomization (T1 and T2, respectively). Intention-to-treat (ITT) data analysis was supplemented with additional per-protocol analyses.

Results: The guided ACTonPain group showed significantly less pain interference than the control group in the ITT analysis (p = 0.01), with a moderate effect size at T1 and T2 (d = 0.58 respectively), corresponding to a number needed to treat (NNT) of 3.14 for both time points. Participants in the guided ACTonPain group also indicated higher pain acceptance (T1: d = 0.59; T2: d = 0.76). The unguided ACTonPain group showed to be significantly less depressed in comparison to the control group at at time T2 (d = 0.50). No significant differences with respect to effectiveness were found between the two ACTonPain groups (p>0.05).

Conclusion: The online intervention ACTonPain is effective for persons with chronic pain when the program is guided. Further research in a variety of settings of health care is needed in order to determine whether and how ACTonPain can be implemented.
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October 2017

Economic evaluations of internet- and mobile-based interventions for the treatment and prevention of depression: A systematic review.

J Affect Disord 2018 01 18;225:733-755. Epub 2017 Jul 18.

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of Psychology and Education, University of Ulm, Germany.

Background: Internet- and mobile-based interventions (IMIs) targeting depression have been shown to be clinically effective and are considered a cost-effective complement to established interventions. The aim of this review was to provide an overview of the evidence for the cost-effectiveness of IMIs for the treatment and prevention of depression.

Methods: A systematic database search was conducted (Medline, PsychInfo, CENTRAL, PSYNDEX, OHE HEED). Relevant articles were selected according to defined eligibility criteria. IMIs were classified as cost-effective if they were below a willingness-to-pay threshold (WTP) of €22,845 (£20,000) - €34,267 (£30,000) per additional quality-adjusted life year (QALY) according to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) standard. Study quality was assessed using the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standard guidelines and the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool.

Results: Of 1538 studies, seven economic evaluations of IMIs for the treatment of major depression, four for the treatment of subthreshold/minor depression and one for the prevention of depression. In six studies, IMIs were classified as likely to be cost-effective with an incremental cost-utility ratio between €3088 and €22,609. All of these IMIs were guided. Overall quality of most economic evaluations was evaluated as good. All studies showed some risk of bias.

Limitations: The studies used different methodologies and showed some risk of bias. These aspects as well as the classification of cost-effectiveness according to the WTP proposed by NICE should be considered when interpreting the results.

Conclusions: Results indicate that guided IMIs for the treatment of (subthreshold) depression have the potential to be a cost-effective complement to established interventions, but more methodologically sound studies are needed.
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January 2018