Clinical Trials

An early tailored cognitive behavioural therapy intervention for depression in individuals newly diagnosed with MS

Type of Study/Intervention

Psychological intervention

Recruitment Status


Form of MS

Relapsing remitting MS, Secondary progressive MS

Brief Summary

The purpose of this research is to examine the use of an early tailored Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (a type of talk therapy that helps individuals learn skills targeting their thinking and behaviour), compared to Supportive Listening (a type of talk therapy that involves talking about your problems) for depression in individuals newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Compared to other chronic diseases and neurological disorders, rates of depression in individuals with multiple sclerosis is high, in particular around the time of diagnosis. To our knowledge, there is no research, in Australia or internationally, specifically examining the psychological treatment of individuals presenting with depression in individuals within 5-years post multiple sclerosis diagnosis (considered newly diagnosed). The study involves participating in psychological assessments conducted by a research psychologist and an 8-week psychological treatment provided by a psychologist or clinical psychology registrar.

Inclusion criteria

Responding YES to the following three questions:

  1. Have you been newly diagnosed with either a relapse-remitting or secondary progressive disease course of MS confirmed by a neurologist (you are within 5 years of having received this diagnosis?)
  2. During the past two weeks, have you often been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless?
  3. During the past two weeks, have you often been bothered by having little interest or pleasure in doing things?

Scoring in the mild to moderately depressed range on a screening questionnaire.
Adult (18-65 years of age) with multiple sclerosis who is within the first 5 years of being diagnosed.
Inclusion will be determined after an assessment with a research psychologist.

Exclusion criteria

Participants will be excluded if they are unable to speak or read English; if they have a serious psychological disorder (e.g., psychosis); if they are assessed as being severely depressed; if they are already undertaking psychological treatment for depression/anxiety; and/or if have been taking antidepressants for less than two months. Your eligibility to participate in the study will determined after an assessment with a research psychologist on the team. All assessment and intervention sessions will take place at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, City Campus, Parkville, Victoria.

Recruitment status


Recruitment contacts

Please contact Litza if you have further questions or would like to take part in the trial.
Dr Litza Kiropoulos (Principal Investigator):



Ethics Approval


Last updated

19 Nov 2020

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