BACKGROUND: Since anxiety and depressive disorders often recur, self-management competencies are crucial for improving the long-term course of anxiety and depressive disorders. However, few relapse prevention programmes are available that focus on improving self-management. E-health combined with personal contact with a mental health professional in general practice might be a promising approach for relapse prevention. In this protocol, the GET READY (Guided E-healTh for RElapse prevention in Anxiety and Depression) study will be described in which a relapse prevention programme is developed, implemented and evaluated. The aim of the study is to determine patients' usage of the programme and the associated course of their symptoms, to examine barriers and facilitators of implementation, and to assess patients' satisfaction with the programme.
METHODS: Participants are discharged from mental healthcare services, and are in complete or partial remission. They receive access to an E-health platform, combined with regular contact with a mental health professional in general practices. Online questionnaires will be completed at baseline and after 3, 6 and 9 months. Also, semi-structured qualitative individual interviews and focus group interviews will be conducted with patients and mental health professionals.
DISCUSSION: This mixed-methods observational cohort study will provide insights into the use of a relapse prevention programme in relation to the occurrence of symptoms, as well as in its implementation and evaluation. Using the results of this study, the relapse prevention programme can be adapted in accordance with the needs of patients and mental health professionals. If this programme is shown to be acceptable, a randomized controlled trial may be conducted to test its efficacy.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Retrospectively registered in the Netherlands Trial Register ( NTR7574 ; 25 October 2018).