Evaluation and treatment of low and anxious mood in Chinese-speaking international students studying in Scotland: study protocol of a pilot randomised controlled trial

Zheng, M., Mcclay, C.-A., Wilson, S. and Williams, C. (2015) Evaluation and treatment of low and anxious mood in Chinese-speaking international students studying in Scotland: study protocol of a pilot randomised controlled trial. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 1, 22. (doi:10.1186/s40814-015-0019-x)

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Abstract

Background: Low mood is a common mental health problem affecting up to 121 million people worldwide and is common in students, particularly international students. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is known to be effective as a treatment for low mood and anxiety when delivered one to one by an expert practitioner, however this can be expensive and many services have waiting lists and delayed access. A range of additional ways of increasing access to services includes the offer of online courses such as computerised CBT as a possible additional pathway for care. This project aims to test the feasibility of a pilot randomised controlled trial of an online CBT-based life skills course with Chinese-speaking international students experiencing low mood and anxiety.

Methods/design: Chinese-speaking international students with symptoms of low mood and/or anxiety will be recruited from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Participants will be remotely randomised to receive either immediate access (IA) or delayed access (DA) to a guided/supported online CBT-based life skills package, the “Living Life” package (Chinese version). Participants will be randomly assigned to IA or DA to the intervention. The primary end point will be at 3 months when the delayed group will be offered the intervention. Levels of depression, anxiety, social functioning and satisfaction will be assessed.

Discussion: This pilot study will test the trial design, ability to recruit, gather completed questionnaires, test drop-out rates and investigate completion and acceptability of the package. The study aims to reduce uncertainties about the delivery of a future substantive study and will also inform a sample size calculation for that subsequent substantive randomised controlled trial (RCT) which will be carried out to determine the effectiveness of the online package in improving low mood and anxiety in the Chinese-speaking student population.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Williams, Professor Christopher and Mcclay, Miss Carrie-Anne and Wilson, Dr Sarah
Authors: Zheng, M., Mcclay, C.-A., Wilson, S., and Williams, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Pilot and Feasibility Studies
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:2055-5784
ISSN (Online):2055-5784
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in Pilot and Feasibility Studies 1:22
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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