Today Robert Johansson will defend his PhD thesis. The supervisors have been Gerhard Andersson, Per Carlbring and Pim Cuijpers. Professor Jacques Barber from Adelphi University in the USA will be the opponent.
The overarching goal of Robert’s thesis has been to enhance Internet-delivered psychological treatments for depression and its comorbidity. To this end, three randomized controlled trials (Study II, III and IV) with a total of 313 participants were conducted. A prevalence study (Study I) was also conducted to provide an up-to-date estimate of the prevalence of depression, anxiety disorders, and their comorbidity in the Swedish general population.
Study I showed that more than every sixth individual in Sweden suffers from symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. Comorbidity between depression and anxiety was substantial and associated with higher symptom burden and lower health-related quality of life. Study II showed that a tailored Internet-based CBT protocol (ICBT) was effective in reducing symptoms of depression when compared to a control group. Among individuals with more severe depression and comorbidities, the tailored ICBT treatment worked better than standardized ICBT. Study III showed that a psychodynamic Internet-based psychotherapy was highly effective in the treatment of depression, when compared to a group who received psychoeducation and online support. In Study IV, an Internet-delivered affect-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy proved to have a large effect on depression and a moderately large effect on anxiety disorders.
In conclusion, this thesis shows that in the context of treating depression and its comorbidity, Internet-delivered psychological treatments can be potentially enhanced by psychodynamic psychotherapy and by individualization.
The thesis can be read in full here: