Behavioural activation interventions for depressed individuals with a chronic physical illness: a systematic review protocol
Background: Depression is common in people with chronic physical illness and is associated with worse medical outcomes. Cognitive behavioural therapy and problem solving improve depression, although usually have small to moderate effects among people with chronic physical illness. Behavioural activation interventions for depression, which aim to increase positive reinforcement from the environment by encouraging individuals to increase pleasant/rewarding activities, have been reported to be equivalent to cognitive behavioural therapy. However, the effectiveness of behavioural activation interventions for depression in individuals with chronic physical illness are unclear. The aims of this systematic review are to identify the extent to which different forms of behavioural activation have been used as a treatment for depression in this population, examine the effectiveness of the interventions, and identify any adaptations which have been made specifically to the interventions for individuals with a range of chronic physical illnesses. Methods/Design: Electronic databases will be systematically searched using terms relevant to behavioural activation and depression, and the subset of studies in people with chronic physical illnesses will be identified by manual searching. References and citations of eligible studies will be searched and experts in this field will be contacted to identify additional papers. All study designs will be included in this review to allow for a more extensive identification of the extent of different forms of behavioural activation interventions. The different forms of behavioural activation and the specific chronic physical health conditions for which this intervention has been used will be reviewed narratively. For the effectiveness of the interventions, if sufficient randomised controlled trials have been undertaken the results will be meta-analysed. Non-randomised studies will be narratively synthesised and adaptations to the interventions will also be narratively reviewed. Discussion: The findings will inform the design, development and subsequent evaluation of a behavioural activation intervention for depression in people with a chronic physical illness. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42013004500.
University of Exeter, College of Life and Environmental Sciences PhD Studentship
© 2013 Harris et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Systematic Reviews 2013, 2:105