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Clinical- and cost-effectiveness of a technology-supported and solution-focused intervention (DIALOG plus ) in treatment of patients with chronic depression-study protocol for a multi-site, cluster randomised controlled trial [TACK]

McNamee, P., Matanov, A., Jerome, L. , Kerry, S., Walker, N., Feng, Y., Molodynski, A., Scott, S., Guruvaiah, L., Collinson, S., McCabe, R. ORCID: 0000-0003-2041-7383, Geddes, J., Priebe, S. & Bird, V. (2022). Clinical- and cost-effectiveness of a technology-supported and solution-focused intervention (DIALOG plus ) in treatment of patients with chronic depression-study protocol for a multi-site, cluster randomised controlled trial [TACK]. Trials, 23(1), article number 237. doi: 10.1186/s13063-022-06181-4


Many with an acute depressive disorder go on to develop chronic depression, despite ongoing care. There are few specifically designed interventions to treat chronic depression. DIALOG+, a technology-assisted intervention based on the principles of solution-focused therapy, may be beneficial. It has been shown to be effective as a treatment for patients with psychotic disorders, especially in regards to increasing quality of life. DIALOG+ was designed to be flexibly applied and not diagnosis-specific, aiming to structure communication and generate a personally-tailored care plan. This cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) is part of a programme of research to adapt and test DIALOG+ for patients with chronic depression.

Patients will be eligible for the trial, if they have exhibited symptoms of depression or non-psychotic low mood for at least 2 years, have regular contact with a clinician and have a low subjective quality of life and moderate depressive symptoms. Clinicians, who routinely see eligible patients, will be recruited from a number of sites across NHS England. Clusters will have between 1 and 6 patients per clinician and will be randomised in a 1:1 ratio to either the intervention (DIALOG+) or active control group (treatment as usual + DIALOG scale). Clinicians in the intervention group are trained and asked to deliver the intervention regularly for 12 months. Active control participants receive treatment as usual and are asked to rate their satisfaction with areas of life and treatment on the DIALOG scale at the end of the clinical session. Approximately 112 clinician clusters will be recruited to reach a total patient sample size of 376. Clinical and social outcomes including costs are assessed at baseline and 3, 6 and 12 months post randomisation. The primary outcome will be subjective quality of life at 12 months.

This definitive multi-site, cluster RCT aims to evaluate the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of DIALOG+ for people with chronic depression. If shown to be effective for this patient population it could be used to improve outcomes of mental health care on a larger scale, ensuring that patients with complex and co-morbid diagnoses can benefit.

Trial registration
ISRCTN11301686. Registered on 13 Jun 2019.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver.
Publisher Keywords: Cluster randomised trial, Depression, Community care, Mental health, Solution focused
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
SWORD Depositor:
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