Since our first therapy groups commenced in 2014, we have sought to develop efficiencies in our therapy model that will allow us to reach more people with depression faster. Over the years, we have consistently heard from clients that attendance requirements for lengthy therapy cycles can interfere with income-producing work and childcare responsibilities. In response, we have routinely developed, tested, and rolled out shorter Group Interpersonal Therapy (IPT-G) cycles that reduce hardship on clients while maintaining excellent results.
Last year, the StrongMinds Innovation Lab developed a new six-week IPT-G model, grouping clients with similar depression triggers to generate more focused discussions relevant to all participants. In partnership with researchers from New York University Langone Health, we conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing this six-week therapy model to our previous eight-week model, which groups clients with more wide-ranging depression triggers.
Trial results showed that six-week IPT-G sessions produced client outcomes equal to or superior to our eight-week model, achieving a two-point greater improvement in clients’ PHQ-9 depression scores. The study also found that the six-week intervention yielded greater improvements in clients’ subjective well-being and self-reported disabilities, as measured by the WHO’s Quality of Life Survey and the WHO Disability Assessment Schedule.
Guided by these exceptional results, StrongMinds will roll out six-week therapy for all clients in January 2024.1