Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (CBT-ACT) vs. Standard Care After Critical Illness Due to COVID-19: Protocol for a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Anders Håkansson, Maria Cronhjort, Pernilla Lidin-Darlington, Gisela Lilja, Anna Nilsson, Anna Schandl, Hans Friberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Post-covid syndrome is an emerging condition involving a wide range of symptoms, including high rates of poor mental health. The diagnostic relevance and clinical severity of these symptoms are largely unknown, and evidence for treatment of post-covid mental health symptoms is lacking. This protocol describes a pilot randomized clinical trial, primarily aiming to assess feasibility, participant adherence and satisfaction in a novel phycho-therapeutic intervention on post-covid anxiety and depression symptoms ≥1 year after critically ill COVID-19. Whether the intervention may generate improvements in post-covid depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) will be addressed in a following larger trial. Methods: A multicenter, investigator-initiated randomized controlled trial (Clinical Trial Identifier number NCT05119608) including Intensive Care Unit (ICU)-treated COVID-19 survivors, who display symptoms of anxiety and/or depression at follow-up 12 months after hospitalization (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale ≥8 for depression or anxiety). Eligible individuals are referred to a psychiatrist for structured diagnostic assessment and inclusion in the trial. Participants will be randomized to either a 10-week cognitive behavioral therapy intervention with added acceptance and commitment therapy (CBT-ACT) or standard care (primary care referral). Primary study outcome measure is feasibility and patient adherence, defined as the proportion of participants who consent to randomization and remain in the study including follow-up. Secondary outcome measures include reduced symptoms in the HADS depression/anxiety subscales, post-traumatic symptoms, HRQoL and user satisfaction at 3 months after the intervention. Discussion: This protocol describes a pilot trial to assess feasibility and preliminary effects of a structured psycho-therapeutic intervention to ameliorate mental health in a population severely affected by COVID-19, where evidence for structured psycho-therapy is lacking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number907215
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Psychiatry

Free keywords

  • acceptance and commitment therapy
  • COVID-19
  • post-covid syndrome
  • randomized controlled trial
  • SARS-CoV-2

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