Publication date: Feb 11, 2020
Post-secondary students are at an elevated risk for anxiety and depression, with approximately one in three students experiencing clinical levels of symptoms at some point during their academic career. Despite the high prevalence of these mental health concerns, many students do not receive adequate treatment. Internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (ICBT) is an alternative to face-to-face service that is effective for improving symptoms of anxiety and depression in general adult populations. Recently, there has been increasing interest in the use of ICBT in post-secondary populations, however high drop-out rates and small effect sizes suggest that current ICBT programs are not fully meeting students’ specific needs. Additional research is necessary to ensure that ICBT is delivered to students in a manner that is both acceptable and effective. The proposed study will be an implementation trial to examine whether the efficacy of an ICBT course for post-secondary students is improved by offering a motivational interviewing component at pre-treatment and a booster session 1-month after completing treatment. Follow-up assessment will be conducted as 3-month post-treatment. Primary outcomes are anxiety, depression, and academic functioning. Implementation outcomes will include measures of the acceptability, adoption, and fidelity (assessed by number of modules completed) of the ICBT course.