Efficacy of a Transdiagnostic internet-based treatment for emotional disorders with a specific component to address positive affect: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Background: Emotional disorders (ED) are among the most prevalent mental disorders. However, less than 50% of people suffering from ED receive the appropriate treatment. This situation has led to the development of new intervention proposals based on the transdiagnostic perspective, which tries to address the underlying processes common to ED. Most of these programs focus primarily on down-regulating negative affectivity, rather than increasing strengths and up-regulating positive affectivity. The data suggest the existence of disturbances in positive affectivity in these disorders, and so new interventions focusing on these problems are greatly needed. It is also essential to provide assistance to all the people in need. Information and Communication Technologies can be very useful. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of a transdiagnostic Internet-based treatment for ED in a community sample. The protocol includes traditional CBT components, as well as a specific component to address positive affect. We intend to test this protocol, including this specific component or not, versus a waiting list control group. Moreover, we aim to test the differential effect of this specific component, and study the effectiveness (in terms of patients' acceptance) of using a self-applied Internet-based program. This paper presents the study protocol. Methods: The study is a randomized controlled trial. 207 participants will be randomly assigned to: a)Transdiagnostic Internet-based protocol (TIBP), b)Transdiagnostic Internet-based protocol + positive affect component (TIBP + PA), or c)a Waiting List control group (WL). Primary outcomes measures will be the BDI-II, the BAI, and the PANAS. Secondary outcomes will include diagnosis-specific measures of the principal disorder. Participants' treatment acceptance will also be measured. Participants will be assessed at pre-, post-treatment, and 3- and 12- month follow-ups. The data will be analyzed based on the Intention-to-treat principle. Per protocol analyses will also be performed. Discussion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of a transdiagnostic Internet-based treatment for ED with a specific component to up-regulate positive affectivity. This intervention could contribute to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of current treatment programs for ED, promote the dissemination of EBTs, and help to decrease the high prevalence of ED. Trial registration: ClinicalTrial.gov: NCT02578758. Registered 15 October 2015.

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APA

Díaz-García, A., González-Robles, A., Fernández-Álvarez, J., García-Palacios, A., Baños, R. M., & Botella, C. (2017). Efficacy of a Transdiagnostic internet-based treatment for emotional disorders with a specific component to address positive affect: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-017-1297-z

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