moodgym is based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy which have been shown to be successful in preventing and treating depression and anxiety.
There is broad evidence supporting the effectiveness of moodgym in improving wellbeing and reducing depression and anxiety symptoms in users.
Since its launch in 2001, moodgym has been extensively evaluated in a number of research trials undertaken by research groups around the world. These include studies: in a range of settings (e.g., schools, workplaces, crisis support services, NHS Choices online); across the mental health care spectrum (from prevention to treatment); with different age groups (adults, adolescents); with a range of population groups (e.g. students, primary care patients, community users); in different countries; and with and without therapist guidance.
A study in England found that use of moodgym as an adjunct to GP care did not substantially improve depression outcomes compared with usual GP care alone1. However, a recent meta-analysis of 12 studies found that moodgym is effective at reducing depression and anxiety symptoms in adult populations, with some evidence suggesting that it is also effective at reducing general psychological distress2.
moodgym has also been shown to have a number of secondary benefits. Studies have reported moodgym to be effective in reducing hazardous alcohol use3, reducing suicide risk in high-risk populations4, and in improving wellbeing in community users 5. Evaluation studies suggest that moodgym is a viable option for those who cannot access face-to-face therapy, and for those waiting for traditional services 6.
1. Gilbody S., et al., Computerised cognitive behaviour therapy (cCBT) as treatment for depression in
primary care (REEACT trial): large scale pragmatic randomised controlled trial BMJ 2015; 351 :h5627
2. Twomey, C. and G. O’Reilly, Effectiveness of a freely available computerised cognitive behavioural therapy programme (MoodGYM) for depression: Meta-analysis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 2016.
3. Farrer, L., et al., Web-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression With and Without Telephone Tracking in a National Helpline: Secondary Outcomes From a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR, 2012. 14(3):e68
4. Guille, C., et al., Web-based cognitive behavioral therapy intervention for the prevention of suicidal ideation in medical interns: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry, 2015: 1-7.
5. Powell, J., et. al. Effectiveness of a web-based cognitive-behavioral tool to improve mental well-being in the general population: randomized controlled trial. JMIR, 2013, 15(1), e2).
6. Twomey, C., et. al. A randomized controlled trial of the computerized CBT programme, MoodGYM, for public mental health service users waiting for interventions. Br J Clin Psychol, 2014.
moodgym was originally developed and evaluated over 15 years by researchers at the Australian National University. The principal authors of the content were Professors Helen Christensen and Kathy Griffiths. The development and delivery of moodgym is now undertaken by e-hub Health Pty Ltd.
moodgym is delivered free of charge to Australians thanks to funding from the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.
Comments, questions or feedback can be directed to the moodgym support team .