Alarming rates of depression of contemporary societies paradoxically coexist with available scientific knowledge about effective treatments. Overcoming depression seems possible, but the access to treatment is still difficult. Half of Europeans still do not receive proper care for depression for several reasons, such as waiting lists, difficulties in accessing evidence-based treatments, or high costs. Portugal is no exception, with very high rates of depressive disorders and antidepressant medication consumption. In Portugal, treatment for depression is mainly carried out in primary care through medication, with scarce availability of psychotherapy, although several studies have demonstrated better results for psychotherapeutic treatments in the long run, in terms of relapse prevention. Recently, internet-based approaches to treatment have emerged as a possible alternative to this gap. This project addresses this problem, with research about the clinical and cost-effectiveness of implementing solutions integrating internet-based approaches to empirically based treatments.
This project intends to develop and test one treatment format – blended Cognitive Psychotherapy (bCBT) – that integrates face-to-face empirically based cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy with web-based and mobile phone applications. The expectation is to contribute for the development of technologically integrated solutions that will make it easier to have better access to proper care.