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Integration of a smartwatch within an internet-delivered intervention for depression: Protocol for a feasibility randomized controlled trial on acceptance

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  • Camille Nadal
  • Caroline Earley
  • Angel Enrique
  • Noemi Vigano
  • Corina Sas
  • Derek Richards
  • Gavin Doherty
Article number106323
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/04/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Contemporary Clinical Trials
Number of pages11
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date20/02/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Mood tracking is commonly employed within a range of mental health interventions. Physical activity and sleep are also important for contextualizing mood data but can be difficult to track manually and rely on retrospective recall. Smartwatches could enhance self-monitoring by addressing difficulties in recall of sleep and physical activity and reducing the burden on patients in terms of remembering to track and the effort of tracking. This feasibility study will explore the acceptance of a smartwatch app for self-monitoring of mood, sleep, and physical activity, in an internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (iCBT) for depression offered in a routine care setting.

Seventy participants will be randomly allocated to (i) iCBT intervention plus smartwatch app or (ii) iCBT intervention alone. Patient acceptance will be measured longitudinally using a theory-based acceptance questionnaire to understand and compare the evolution of acceptance of the technology-delivered self-report in the two groups. A post-treatment interview will explore participants subjective experience of using the smartwatch. Engagement with the intervention, including self-report, and clinical outcomes, will be measured across both groups to assess for any differences.

This is the first study investigating the evolution of patient acceptance of smartwatch self-report in an iCBT delivered intervention in a clinical sample. Through an engaging and convenient means of capturing ecologically valid mood data, the study has the potential to show that smartwatches are an acceptable means for patient self-monitoring within iCBT interventions for depression and support potential use-cases for smartwatches in the context of mental health interventions in general.

Prospectively registered at ClinicalTrials.gov number: NCT04568317