MoodGYM - Anxiety
MoodGYM is a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) based intervention designed to prevent or reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. MoodGYM aims to help you identify and overcome problem emotions and develop good coping skills. The program consists of five modules each taking 20- to 40-minutes to complete, which are completed in a prescribed order. These contain information, animated demonstrations, quizzes, and homework exercises. The modules teach you about your mood and how to change it. You are taught to identify "warpy" thoughts, develop problem-solving skills, and learn to cope with life events. The modules are completed at your own pace and you are given feedback about your mood and what your results mean.
- Service URL:
- Agency Responsible:
- eHub Health.
- Intervention Type:
- Psychological – CBT.
- Course Length:
- Moderate (2-5 modules). Comprises 5 modules
- Support Option:
- Automated only.
- Primary Category:
- Generalised anxiety disorder. And depression
- Target Audiences:
- Adolescent and Adult.
- English and German.
- Open: With registration.
- Contact Details:
- Research Trials:
- Research RCTs:
- Outcome Summary:
There is good evidence from controlled trials and studies in real world settings that MoodGYM is effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety. A total of 8 RCTs have now been completed looking at the effectiveness of MoodGYM in the treatment of anxiety. Of these, 2 RCTs carried out with Australian university students found significant improvements in anxiety symptoms (6, 7), while one RCT in an adolescent school-based population found that participants who completed the MoodGYM program had significantly lower levels of anxiety than participants in a wait-list control condition at post-intervention and 6 month follow up (d=0.15–0.25). Other effects included improved CBT literacy and decreased incidence of automatic negative thoughts and distress. Another 3 RCTs carried out in primary care populations in Norway, England and Australia (8, 9, 10) found that MoodGYM significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety, including one large scale trial where 406 participants completing the MoodGYM course, resulting in significantly reduced GAD-7 scores at 6 and 12 weeks post-intervention.
A meta-analysis carried out in 2017 (13) found that, based on 6 RCTs in adult populations, MoodGYM was effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety with a medium effect size [Hedge’s g = 0.57 (95% CI: 0.2 – 0.94). Combination of face to face therapy with MoodGYM has been shown to improve results over either of the two forms of therapy on their own (7). Many trials experienced high dropout rates within the intervention group, and where completion rates were higher, a larger effect size was found. 2 out of the 8 RCTs found no significant difference between MoodGYM intervention groups and controls (11, 12), though in these trials non-significant reductions in anxiety scores were observed.
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- Recommended rating, reviewer 2:
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Research paper citations
(1) Calear, A. L., Christensen, H., Mackinnon, A., Griffiths, K. M. & O’Kearney, R. (2009). The YouthMood Project: a cluster randomized controlled trial of an online cognitive behavioral program with adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77(6), 1021-1032.
(2) Christensen, H., Griffiths, K. M., & Korten, A. (2002). Web-based cognitive behavior therapy: analysis of site usage and changes in depression and anxiety scores. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 4(1), e3.
(3) Christensen, H., Griffiths, K. M., Korten, A. E., Brittliffe, K., & Groves, C. (2004). A comparison of changes in anxiety and depression symptoms of spontaneous users and trial participants of a cognitive behavior therapy website. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 6(4), e46.
(4) Christensen, H., Griffiths, K., Groves, C., & Korten, A. (2006). Free range users and one hit wonders: Community users of an Internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy program. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 40, 59-62.
(5) Christensen, H., Griffiths, K. M., Mackinnon, A. J., & Brittliffe, K. (2006). Online randomized controlled trial of brief and full cognitive behaviour therapy for depression. Psychological Medicine, 36, 1737-1746.
(6) Ellis, L., Campbell, A.J., Sethi, S., O'Dea, B.M. (2011) Comparative Randomized Trial of an online cognitive-behavioural therapy program and an online support group for depression and anxiety. Journal of Cyber Therapy & Rehabilitation, 4(4): 461-467.
(7) Sethi, S., Campbell, A. J., Ellis, L. A. (2010). The use of computerized self-help packages to treat adolescent depression and anxiety. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 28(3), 144-160.
(8) Høifødt, R. S., Lillevoll, K. R., Griffiths, K. M., Wilsgaard, T., Eisemann, M., Waterloo, K., & Kolstrup, N. (2013). The clinical effectiveness of web-based cognitive behavioral therapy with face-to-face therapist support for depressed primary care patients: randomized controlled trial. Journal of medical Internet research, 15(8).
(9) Powell, J., Hamborg, T., Stallard, N., Burls, A., McSorley, J., Bennett, K., ... & Christensen, H. (2013). Effectiveness of a web-based cognitive-behavioral tool to improve mental well-being in the general population: randomized controlled trial. Journal of medical Internet research, 15(1).
(10) Sethi, S. (2013). Treating Youth Depression and Anxiety: A Randomised Controlled Trial Examining the Efficacy of Computerised versus Face‐to‐face Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Australian Psychologist, 48(4), 249-257.
(11) Phillips, R., Schneider, J., Molosankwe, I., Leese, M., Foroushani, P. S., Grime, P., ... & Thornicroft, G. (2014). Randomized controlled trial of computerized cognitive behavioural therapy for depressive symptoms: effectiveness and costs of a workplace intervention. Psychological medicine, 44(4), 741-752.
(12) Twomey, C., O'Reilly, G., Byrne, M., Bury, M., White, A., Kissane, S., ... & Clancy, N. (2014). A randomized controlled trial of the computerized CBT programme, MoodGYM, for public mental health service users waiting for interventions. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 53(4), 433-450.
(13) Twomey, C., & O’Reilly, G. (2017). Effectiveness of a freely available computerised cognitive behavioural therapy programme (MoodGYM) for depression: Meta-analysis. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 51(3), 260-269.
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Last Updated: May 21st 2018