Principal Investigator: Adrian Aguilera, Ph.D.
Funded by: K23MH094442
Poor adherence to depression treatments (psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy) limits their effectiveness in community settings. Problems with adherence are especially pronounced in low-income settings. Innovative and cost-effective methods are needed to improve adherence to treatments and maximize mental health resources. Mobile phone based text messaging (or short messaging service: SMS) is a ubiquitous technology that has been used in various health applications across socioeconomic status. This technology has the potential to increase the fidelity of mental health treatments via increased adherence. The proposed research project will test whether adding an automated SMS adjunct to group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression can increase adherence (homework adherence, attendance, medication adherence) and further reduce depression symptoms. The SMS adjunct will 1) prompt patients to monitor mood, thoughts and behaviors, 2) will provide medication and appointment reminders and 3) will send CBT based tips. The information that patients provide will be used within the clinical setting to highlight interrelations between thoughts, behaviors and symptoms.