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Blended care therapy for depression and anxiety: Outcomes across diverse racial and ethnic groups

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Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities cover image

Abstract

Background

Studies have reported positive outcomes of blended care therapy (BCT), which combines face-to-face care with internet modules. However, there is insufficient evidence of its effectiveness across racial and ethnic groups. This study evaluated outcomes of a BCT program, which combined video psychotherapy with internet cognitive-behavioral modules, across race and ethnicity.

Methods

Participants were 6492 adults, with elevated anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 [GAD-7] ≥ 8) and/or depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 [PHQ-9] ≥ 10) symptoms, enrolled in employer-offered BCT. Changes in anxiety (GAD-7) and depression (PHQ-9) symptoms during treatment were evaluated using individual growth curve models. Interaction terms of time with race and ethnicity tested for between-group differences. Treatment satisfaction was assessed using a Net Promoter measure (range = 1 (lowest satisfaction) to 5 (greatest satisfaction)).

Results

Participants’ self-reported race and ethnicity included Asian or Pacific Islander (27.5%), Black or African American (5.4%), Hispanic or Latino (9.3%), and White (47.2%). Anxiety symptoms decreased during treatment (p < 0.01), with greater reductions among Hispanic or Latino participants compared to White participants (p < 0.05). Depressive symptoms decreased across treatment (p < 0.01), with significantly greater decreases among some racial and ethnic groups compared to White participants. Declines in anxiety and depressive symptoms slowed across treatment (p’s < 0.01), with statistically significant differences in slowing rates of depressive symptoms across some racial and ethnic groups. Among participants with responses (28.45%), average treatment satisfaction ranged from 4.46 (SD = 0.73) to 4.67 (SD = 0.68) across race and ethnicity (p = 0.001). Racial and ethnic differences in outcomes were small in magnitude.

Conclusions

BCT for anxiety and depression can be effective across diverse racial and ethnic groups.

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