The Deprexis program consists of 10 content modules representing different psychotherapeutic approaches to depression, each of which can be completed in around 10 to 60 minutes, depending on the individual user. The theoretical rationale and content of the modules draws upon concepts of (1) Behavioral Activation, (2) Cognitive Modification, (3) Mindfulness and Acceptance, (4) Interpersonal Skills, (5) Relaxation, Physical Exercise and Lifestyle Modification, (6) Problem Solving, (7) Childhood Experiences and Early Schemas, (8) Positive Psychology Interventions, (9) Dreamwork and Emotion-Focused Interventions, and (10) Psychoeducation. In addition to the content modules, there is one introductory and one summary module. The modules are presented as simulated dialogues in which the program explains and illustrates concepts and techniques, engages the user in exercises, and continuously asks users to respond by selecting from response options. Subsequent content is then tailored to the users’ responses, resulting in a simulated conversational flow. All modules are accompanied by illustrations such as drawings, photographs, and flash animations.
- Service URL:
- Agency Responsible:
- Therapeutical Web-Systems.
- Intervention Type:
- Psychological – CBT. Also includes psychoeducation, problem solving, interpersonal and lifestyle components
- Course Length:
- Long (more than 5 modules). Comprises 10 modules taking up to 60 minutes each
- Support Option:
- No support.
- Primary Category:
- Target Audience:
- English and German. Also available in German
- Fee-based. € 279.70 but is free for students and recipients of unemployment benefits
- Closed: Fee required.
- Contact Details:
- Research Trials:
- Research RCTs:
- Outcome Summary:
The effectiveness of the Deprexis program has been examined in 7 RCTs and 2 trials. A meta-analysis comparing 8 studies demonstrated the effectiveness of Deprexis for depression at post-intervention, with a medium effect size (g = 0.54, 95% CI: 0.39 - 0.69).
Several RCTs and trials in Germany have showed evidence of the program's effectiveness in people with depressive symptoms. Compared to wait-list controls, users experienced a significant decline in symptoms on the Beck Depression Inventory - II (BDI-II) scale in three of the RCTs. Symptom decline was especially pronounced among those with moderate depressive symptoms at baseline. The program was found to be beneficial for those with multiple sclerosis who were unable to access regular face-to-face treatment due to problems with mobility as well as in patients with self-reported epilepsy. Deprexis was also found to be useful as a supplement to care as usual in two RCTs with medium between-group effect sizes on primary depressive symptoms (d = 0.51 and 0.64 respectively). Both unguided and self-guided versions of the program were able to significantly reduce depressive symptoms in participants according to one study (d=.66 for the unguided group and d=1.44 for the therapist guided group) with no significant differences between the two groups.
Two research trials have supported these results where there was a significant reduction in depression between baseline and post-treatment for the intervention groups with medium between-group effect size in one study (d= 0.57) and PHQ change of d= 0.36 to 0.13 from baseline to post-intervention in the other. One of these trials found the intervention to be more effective in patients who were not taking anti-depressants. An RCT has also been carried out among participants in the United States of America which compared Deprexis to a wait-list control and found that it was associated with greater reduction in self-reported depressive symptoms ( d =0.80).
Overall, these results provide solid evidence that the Deprexis program can offer effective treatment for depression.
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Research paper citations
Beevers, C. G., Pearson, R., Hoffman, J. S., Foulser, A. A., Shumake, J., & Meyer, B. (2017). Effectiveness of an internet intervention (Deprexis) for depression in a united states adult sample: A parallel-group pragmatic randomized controlled trial. J Consult Clin Psychol, 85(4), 367-380. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000171
Berger, T., Krieger, T., Sude, K., Meyer, B., & Maercker, A. (2018). Evaluating an e-mental health program (“deprexis”) as adjunctive treatment tool in psychotherapy for depression: Results of a pragmatic randomized controlled trial. J Affect Disord, 227, 455-462. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2017.11.021
Berger, T. Hämmerli, K., Gubser, N., Andersson, G. and Caspar, F. (2011) Internet-based treatment of depression: a randomised controlled trial comparing guided with unguided self-help. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 40 (4): 251-266.
Fischer, A., Schröder, J., Vettorazzi, E., Wolf, O. T., Pöttgen, J., Lau, S., . . . Gold, S. M. (2015). An online programme to reduce depression in patients with multiple sclerosis: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Psychiatry, 2(3), 217-223. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(14)00049-2
Klein, J. P., Späth, C., Schröder, J., Meyer, B., Greiner, W., Hautzinger, M., . . . Berger, T. (2017). Time to remission from mild to moderate depressive symptoms: One year results from the EVIDENT-study, an RCT of an internet intervention for depression. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 97, 154-162. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2017.07.013
Meyer, B., Berger, T., Caspar, F., Beevers, C. G., Andersson, G., & Weiss, M. (2009). Effectiveness of a novel integrative online treatment for depression (Deprexis): randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 11(2), e15
Meyer, B., Bierbrodt, J., Schröder, J., Berger, T., Beevers, C. G., Weiss, M., . . . Klein, J. P. (2015). Effects of an Internet intervention (Deprexis) on severe depression symptoms: Randomized controlled trial. Internet Interventions, 2(1), 48-59. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2014.12.003
Moritz, S., Schilling, L., Hauschildt, M., Schröder, J., & Treszl, A. (2012). A randomized controlled trial of internet-based therapy in depression. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 50(7), 513-521. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2012.04.006
Schröder, J., Brückner, K., Fischer, A., Lindenau, M., Köther, U., Vettorazzi, E., & Moritz, S. (2014). Efficacy of a psychological online intervention for depression in people with epilepsy: A randomized controlled trial. Epilepsia, 55(12), 2069-2076. doi: 10.1111/epi.12833
Twomey, C., O’Reilly, G., & Meyer, B. (2017). Effectiveness of an individually-tailored computerised CBT programme (Deprexis) for depression: A meta-analysis. Psychiatry Research, 256, 371-377. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.06.081
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Last Updated: June 14th 2018