Preventing Depression and Improving Awareness through
Networking in the EU
Depression and suicidality are two important and largely overlapping public health problems in Europe. Because of this overlap, it is not surprising that improving the care of people with depression is also considered to be an effective approach to prevent suicidality. Preventing Depression and Improving Awareness through Networking in the EU (PREDI-NU) intends to contribute to improving care of depression and reducing suicidalilty using opportunities afforded through information and communication technologies. PREDI-NU builds upon previous work by the European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD) and Optimising Suicide Prevention Programmes and their Implementation in Europe (OSPI-Europe) and aims to further develop and strengthen multidisciplinary networks to enhance depression awareness and prevent suicidal behaviour.
PREDI-NU will focus on the development, implementation and evaluation of an internet-based guided self-management intervention for young people and adults with mild to moderate depression.
- To review the evidence as well as best practice examples and develop an internet-based guided self-management tool for young people (15-24) and adults (25+) with mild to moderate depression
- To design a website including multi-faceted contents in nine languages to raise awareness of depression and suicidality.
- To implement and evaluate the PREDI-NU concept in six European regions according to a standardised procedures including the application of the internet-based guided self-management intervention and training programmes to increase awareness of depression among health professionals.
- To develop and strengthen multidisciplinary networks to improve early identification and adequate treatment referral of depression.
Depression Awareness and Self-Management through the Web
- An internet-based guided self-management intervention for people with mild to moderate depression is being developed based on a systematic review of the evidence base to identify best practice recommendations for implementation of self-management E-health technologies.
- The self-management intervention will be a free resource incorporated within a depression and suicidal behaviour awareness website which is currently being created (www.ifight-depression.com). The iFight-Depression website will facilitate dissemination of the project materials and ensure sustainability.
- The content will include core CBT-based modules for both adults and young people and specific additional modules for young people (aged 15-24 years).
- The acceptability and efficacy of the internet-based self-management intervention will be piloted with general practitioners and mental health professionals in 5 European regions: Hungry, Spain, Ireland, Estonia and Germany (September 2012-August 2013).
- The web-based guided self management tool will be made available to GPs and youth and adult focused mental health professionals (MHPs). MHPs will include clinical psychologists and/or accredited psychotherapists. GPs and MHPs will be required to attend comprehensive workshops before they can access the SMT to ensure a standardised and best practice approach to the introduction of web-based self-management for patients with mild to moderate depression.
- GPs and mental health professionals will be expected to provide guidance on a regular basis as individuals complete the self-management programme.
- Based on outcomes of the evaluation of the implementation during this pilot phase, required adjustments will be made to the internet-based guided self-management intervention in order to optimise the intervention for wider implementation.
- Further implementation of the optimised web-based self-management intervention will be conducted using a Train-the-Trainer model with GPs and MHPs in 6 European regions: Hungary, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Estonia and Austria.
An extensive evaluation catalogue has been developed to systematically appraise the quality and impact of PREDI-NU to insure wider implementation of the intervention as a model of best practice.
- Process evaluation is concerned with the quality of implementation of the project and aims to provide insight into factors related to the implementation
- Focus group interviews with service users, service providers and experts will be conducted to explore the feasibility and acceptability of the materials and approaches developed
- Online questionnaires will assess users’ and providers’ satisfaction with the guided self-management intervention, and will also be used to identify barriers to use of the intervention
- Information will be collected to monitor the intensity of intervention activities including usage of self-management intervention and visitors to the website
- Effect evaluation will be used to investigate the clinical outcomes of the PREDI-NU intervention.
- Changes in depression symptoms in adults and young people using the self-management intervention will be examined.
The PREDI-NU intervention programme is expected to contribute to increased uptake of treatment by young people and adults with mild to moderate forms of depression by offering a guided self-management intervention which will be made available though the internet.
It is expected that a larger population of men, who otherwise would not receive any help, will be reached.
It is expected that early identification of young people with depression and improved offers for self-management of mild to moderate forms of depression will help to prevent suicide and deliberate self harm.
PREDI-NU and the NSRF
The NSRF is a coordinator of the PREDI-NU project in collaboration with University of Leipzig, Germany.
The NSRF will pilot the internet-based guided self-management intervention with GPs and mental health professionals in the Munster region between September 2012 and August 2013. A local advisory panel will be established including key stakeholders to inform implementation of the programme in an Irish context.
The programme will be optimised following this pilot phase and further rolled out to GPs and mental health professions using a Train-the-Trainer model (September 2013-August 2014). Trained trainers will be expected to roll out the awareness training programme among their professional peers in order to maximise implementation of the internet-based guided self-management intervention for mild to moderate depression. Guidance and supervision will be provided by the NSRF.
PREDI-NU has received funding from the European Commission in the Framework of the Health Programme through the European Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC).
The PREDI-NU consortium consists of 12 partners from 11 EU countries represented by experienced researchers with a track record in mental health promotion and research.
Germany: University of Leipzig
Ireland: National Suicide Research Foundation
Belgium: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, LUCAS
UK: University of Stirling
Austria: Society for Mental Health – pro mente tirol
Hungary: Semmelweis University, Budapest Institute of Behavioural Sciences
Bulgaria: Health Psychology Research Centre, Sofia
Estonia: Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute
Portugal: Faculdade de Ciencias Medicas da Universidae Nova de Lisboa
Spain: Fundacio Privada Institut de Recerca deI’Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau
Project Office: GABO:mi Gesellschaft für Ablauforganisation :milliarium mbh & Co. KG
Personnel Involved: Principal investigators: Prof. Ella Arensman (NSRF)
Project co-ordinator: Dr. Celine Larkin (NSRF)
Advisory Panel Members: Dr. Daniel Flynn (North Lee Mental Health); Mr. Derek Chambers (Inspire Ireland); Dr. Colin Bradley (UCC)
For further information on PREDI-NU activities please contact:
Professor Ella Arensman
Director of Research, National Suicide Research Foundation
Tel: +353 (0)21 420 5551