EDASH study

East MidlandsMental Health
Start Date: 1 Jan 2014

Electronic Delivery of problem solving CBT for depression in Adolescents and young adults who Self-Harm

Study aims

This study aims to determine the acceptability and practicality of a problem solving cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) - also known as 'talking therapy' - for adolescents and young adults who have depression and who have self-harmed. This therapy will be delivered remotely, via video call or telephone.

The broad objectives of the project are:

  1. To determine acceptable ways to engage and retain adolescents and young adults (aged 16-30) in a remotely delivered problem solving CBT.
  2. To find out whether a remotely delivered problem solving CBT is clinically effective and cost effective in comparison to 'usual care'.
  3. Work with clinicians, commissioners and service users to carry out qualitative analysis in identifying barriers, drivers and success in the delivery of the psychological intervention.

Why is this study important?

Self-harm is one of the five leading causes of hospital admissions. Re-admissions due to self-harm occur frequently within 30 days.  Unfortunately, at the moment, if individuals who self-harm do go to hospital, there is considerable variability in whether they are seen by a specialist in this area and what help they get offered.

There are strong associations between depression and self-harm, with depression being identified as a strong predictor for repeated self-harm. By addressing depression this could reduce risks of repeated self-harm and suicide. Improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) services that provide the majority of psychological treatment for depression may not offer interventions to individuals who carry high risk of self-harm and/or suicidality. This means for individuals with depression who also self-harm there are barriers to accessing psychological interventions.

Research suggests that remotely delivered psychological treatment can reduce drop out from psychological interventions. If the remotely delivered problem solving CBT is clinical and cost effective, then it will be rolled out across the East Midlands and embedded into current clinical practice.

Dr Kapil Sayal