Abstract

SummaryBackgroundThis study assessed the effectiveness of the NEVERMIND e-health system, consisting of a smart shirt and a mobile application with lifestyle behavioural advice, mindfulness-based therapy, and cognitive behavioural therapy, in reducing depressive symptoms among patients diagnosed with severe somatic conditions. Our hypothesis was that the system would significantly decrease the level of depressive symptoms in the intervention group compared to the control group.MethodsThis pragmatic, randomised controlled trial included 425 patients diagnosed with myocardial infarction, breast cancer, prostate cancer, kidney failure, or lower limb amputation. Participants were recruited from hospitals in Turin and Pisa (Italy), and Lisbon (Portugal), and were randomly assigned to either the NEVERMIND intervention or to the control group. Clinical interviews and structured questionnaires were administered at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks. The primary outcome was depressive symptoms at 12 weeks measured by the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). Intention-to-treat analyses included 425 participants, while the per-protocol analyses included 333 participants. This trial is registered in the German Clinical Trials Register, DRKS00013391.FindingsPatients were recruited between Dec 4, 2017, and Dec 31, 2019, with 213 assigned to the intervention and 212 to the control group. The sample had a mean age of 59·41 years (SD=10·70), with 44·24% women. Those who used the NEVERMIND system had statistically significant lower depressive symptoms at the 12-week follow-up (mean difference=-3·03, p<0·001; 95% CI -4·45 to -1·62) compared with controls, with a clinically relevant effect size (Cohen's d=0·39).InterpretationThe results of this study show that the NEVERMIND system is superior to standard care in reducing and preventing depressive symptoms among patients with the studied somatic conditions.FundingThe NEVERMIND project received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No. 689691.

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