Of those, 383 (70%) were being treated for cardiovascular disease and 314 (56%) had at least one other co-morbid condition.
In the ITT analysis of the 562 participants, results showed that the iCBT condition produced a greater decline in the mean PHQ-9 (depression) score, as compared to the attention control of 1.06 (95% CI: 0.23-1.89) points.
Differences between the two arms increased over the intervention period (time by treatment effect interaction p = .012).
There were also larger improvements in adherence to medical advice (2.16 points; 95% CI: 0.33-3.99), reductions in anxiety (0.96 points; 95% CI: 0.19-1.73), and a greater proportion engaging in beneficial physical activity (Odds Ratio 1.91, 95%CI: 1.01-3.61) in the iCBT participants.
There was no effect on disability.
The investigators conclude that in people with mild to moderate depression and high levels of CVD risk factors, a freely accessible iCBT program (http://www.ecouch.anu.edu.au) produced a small, but robust improvement in depressive symptoms, adherence and some health behaviors.