Mood management effects of brief unsupported internet interventions

Eduardo L. Bunge, Rachel E. Williamson, Monique Cano, Yan Leykin, Ricardo F. Muñoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background Most users of unsupported Internet interventions visit that site only once, therefore there is a need to create interventions that can be offered as a single brief interaction with the user. Objective The main goal of this study was to compare the effect of a one-session unsupported Internet intervention on participants' clinical symptoms (depressive and anxiety symptoms) and related variables (mood, confidence and motivation). Method A total of 765 adults residing in the United States took part in a randomized controlled trial. Participants were randomly assigned to one of five brief plain text interventions lasting 5–10 min. The interventions designed to address depressive symptoms were: thoughts (increasing helpful thoughts), activities (increasing activity level), sleep hygiene, assertiveness (increasing assertiveness awareness), Own Methods (utilizing methods that were previously successful). They were followed-up one week after consenting. Results A main effect of time was observed for both depression (F(1, 563) = 234.70, p < 0.001) and anxiety (F(1, 551) = 170.27, p < 0.001). In all cases, regardless of assigned condition and Major Depressive Episode status, mean scores on both positive outcomes (mood, confidence and motivation) and negative outcome scores (depression and anxiety) improved over time. Conclusions Brief unsupported Internet interventions can improve depressive symptoms at one-week follow-up. Further outcome data and research implications will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalInternet Interventions
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Anxiety
  • Confidence
  • Depression
  • Internet intervention
  • Mood
  • Motivation


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