The myCompass program is designed to help Australian residents gain control of mild to moderate stress, anxiety and/or depression using a mobile phone and/or computer. It teaches how to monitor signs of stress, anxiety and depression and provides self-help strategies to help manage unproductive thoughts, feelings and behaviours. The program is based on several proven psychological treatments, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), problem solving therapy and positive psychology. myCompass features stories, facts, tips, motivational messages, self-help modules and a personal journal section. In addition to building skills to monitor symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, the program also provides feedback on changes in thoughts, feelings and behaviour over time in the form of graphical reports.
- Service URL:
- Agency Responsible:
- Black Dog Institute.
- Intervention Types:
- Psychological – CBT and Psychological – IPT. Also utilises problem solving therapy and positive psychology
- Course Length:
- Long (more than 5 modules).
- Support Option:
- Automated only. The program recommends modules that are most relevant to a user as well as providing ongoing feedback and SMS or email reminders to track moods, mood triggers, and lifestyle behaviours.
- Primary Categories:
- Depression, Stress and Generalised anxiety disorder.
- Target Audience:
- Adult. Australian residents
- Open: With registration. Available to Australian residents.
- Contact Details:
- Research Trials:
- Research RCTs:
- Outcome Summary:
The efficacy of the myCompass program was tested in a randomised control trial (RCT) (1) on a sample of 720 participants with mild to moderate depression, anxiety and/or stress. Participants were randomised to either the myCompass intervention, attention control (AC), or waitlist (WL) control group for the seven week trial. Compared to AC and WL participants, the myCompass participants showed significantly lower symptom levels for depression and anxiety as well as improved work and social functioning immediately following the trial. The myCompass group showed significant improvement on the stress scale compared to the WL group. At a 12 week follow-up the myCompass participants maintained their reduced symptom levels (except for depression score). The myCompass group did not differ from the AC participants who reported a decrease in symptoms and improved social and work functioning. The WL participants were provided the opportunity to access the myCompass program at the end of the trial period for seven weeks. Of the 228 in the original WL group, 103 completed the post-intervention survey and demonstrated significant improvements on depression, anxiety, stress and functioning scores.
An initial feasibility study examined the effectiveness of the myCompass program (2). 44 participants were given access to the program over a 6 week period. Participants symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression were all found to be significantly reduced after use of the program. Secondary outcomes of improved impairment and greater self-efficacy were also found.
Another feasibility study (3) explored depressive symptoms and mental health comorbidities in patients with diabetes. 89 participants with Type I (n = 34) and Type 2 (n=55) diabetes used the myCompass program for a duration of 7 weeks. Although there was a high rate of dropout (56% retention at post-intervention and 36% at 3-month follow-up), results show that program completers had significantly improved depressive symptoms (within-group effect size: d = 1.05, p<0.01) as well as mental health comorbidities such as anxiety, functioning and diabetes-specific distress. Overall satisfaction among those who used the program was found to be high with convenience, ease-of-use and relevance of program content rated positively by participants.
Findings from a secondary controlled trial (4) indicate that the program is more effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and functional impairment when used with alert features such short motivational messages and symptom tracking reminders. Two other RCTs are currently underway studying the effectiveness of the program in adults with Type II Diabetes and in young-people with Type I Diabetes
- Recommended rating, reviewer 1:
- Recommended rating, reviewer 2:
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Research paper citations
Evidence evaluation studies:
1. Proudfoot, J., Clarke, J., Birch, M., Whitton, A., Parker, G., Manicavasagar, V., Harrison, V., Christensen, H., & Hadzi-Pavlovic, D. (2013). Impact of a mobile phone and web program on symptom and functional outcomes for people with mild-to-moderate depression, anxiety and stress: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry, 13: 312.
2. Harrison, V., Proudfoot, J., Ping Wee, P., Parker, G., Hadzi Pavlovic, D., Manicavasagar, V. (2011) Mobile mental health: Review of the emerging field and proof of concept study. Journal of Mental Health, 20 (6), 509-524
3. Clarke, J., Proudfoot, J., Ma, H. (2016). Mobile Phone and Web-based Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depressive Symptoms and Mental Health Comorbidities in People Living With Diabetes: Results of a Feasibility Study. JMIR Ment Health 2016;3(2):e23.
4. Whitton, A.E., Proudfoot, J., Clarke, J., Birch, M.R., Parker, G., Manicavasagar, V., Hadzi-Pavlovic, D. (2015). Breaking Open the Black Box: Isolating the Most Potent Features of a Web and Mobile Phone-Based Intervention for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress. JMIR Ment Health 2015;2(1):e3.
Clarke, J., Proudfoot, J., Birch, M.-R., Whitton, A., Parker, G., Manicavasagar, V., Harrison, V., Christensen, H., &Hadzi-Pavlovic, D. (2014). Effects of mental health self-efficacy on outcomes of a mobile phone and web intervention for mild-to-moderate depression, anxiety and stress: secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry, 14: 272.
Proudfoot, J., Parker, G., Hadzi Pavlovic, D., Manicavasagar, V., Adler, E., & Whitton, A. 2010. Community attitudes to the appropriation of mobile phones for monitoring and managing depression, anxiety, and stress. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 12(5), e64.
Proudfoot, J., Clarke, J., Gunn, J., Fletcher, S., Sanatkar, S., Wilhelm, K., Campbell, L., Zwar, N., Harris, M., Lapsley, H., Hadzi-Pavlovic, D., Christensen, H. (2017). A Web-Based Public Health Intervention to Reduce Functional Impairment and Depressive Symptoms in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes (The SpringboarD Trial): Randomized Controlled Trial Protocol. JMIR Res Protoc 2017;6(8):e145.
Clarke, J., Vatiliotis, V., Verge, CF., Holmes-Walker, J., Campbell, LV., Wilhelm, K., Proudfoot, J. (2015). A Mobile Phone and Web-Based Intervention for Improving Mental Well-Being in Young People With Type 1 Diabetes: Design of a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Res Protoc 2015;4(2):e50
Solomon, D., Proudfoot, J., Clarke, J., & Christensen, H. (2015). e-CBT (myCompass), antidepressant medication, and face-to-face psychological treatment for depression in Australia: a cost-effectiveness comparison. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(11).
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Last Updated: July 5th 2018