Taylor Patterson

Transdiagnostic Internet-delivered therapy among post-secondary students: Are booster lessons beneficial?

Honours Thesis Results, Taylor Patterson, 2021

Background: Internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (iCBT) has been found to be effective among post-secondary students. Booster lessons have been proposed as a strategy for maintaining and improving outcomes but have yet to be investigated among students.

Method: To inform future use of booster lessons with students completing iCBT, this study used a mixed-methods approach to identify student (n = 101) use of a booster lesson, predictors of completion, and student preferences regarding delivery of a booster lesson one month following a 5-week transdiagnostic iCBT course.

Results: Approximately one-third of clients utilized the booster lesson; among this group the booster lesson was perceived as worthwhile, client satisfaction was high, and every client who completed the booster indicated that the length was appropriate. Clients provided varied responses regarding the ideal timing of a booster lesson (1-2 weeks to 3-6 months) and whether therapist support is preferred while completing the lesson (50% of completers and 40% of non-completers expressed preference for therapist support). The only significant predictors of use of the booster lesson were the number of iCBT lessons completed and whether the client was currently receiving treatment for mental health concerns. School-related time constraints (27.0%) were identified as a large concern for non-completers.

Conclusions: Understanding client use and gaining feedback about their preferences provides direction for future research to maximize the likelihood a booster lesson would be beneficial. Future research incorporating a booster lesson in iCBT should consider student preferences and exhibit flexibility to elevate client engagement.