Objective: The aim of the present study was to examine whether low-resource, cost-effective intervention programs can be effective in improving depressed mood in people with HIV. The efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral self-help program (CBS) and a computerized structured writing intervention (SWI) were tested in a pilot randomized controlled trial.
Methods: Participants were members of a patient organization. They completed a pretest and posttest. The questionnaire included the HADS. Participants were randomly allocated to CBS (n=24), SWI (n=25) or a waiting list condition (WLC, n=24). To evaluate changes in the continuous outcome measure, a 3 × 2 (group × time) repeated measures ANCOVA was performed. Also, an ANCOVA was performed using change scores.
Results: Respondents who followed the CBS improved significantly compared to the WLC. However, for people in the SWI condition no significant improvement on depression was found.
Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that a low-resource, cost-effective CBS program seems to be effective in reducing depressed mood in people living with HIV.
Practice implications: Because self-help programs can be delivered through regular mail or the internet, a high number of people could be reached while overcoming geographical and social barriers to treatment.

Depression, HIV, Psychological intervention, Self-help program
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2009.08.014, hdl.handle.net/1765/20486
Patient Education and Counseling
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Kraaij, V, van Emmerik, A, Garnefski, N, Schroevers, M.J, Lo-Fo-Wong, D, van Empelen, P, … Maes, S. (2010). Effects of a cognitive behavioral self-help program and a computerized structured writing intervention on depressed mood for HIV-infected people. Patient Education and Counseling, 80(2), 200–204. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2009.08.014