Project Summary

This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.

What is the research about?

Depression can increase the risk of heart attack and death in people with heart disease. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a treatment for depression in which patients learn to change patterns in their thinking to improve how they feel. But people living in rural areas may have a hard time traveling to in-person therapy sessions. Also, few CBT providers may be available in rural areas.

In this study, the research team is comparing two ways to treat depressive symptoms in people with heart disease living in rural areas:

  • Video conferencing CBT, in which patients have virtual sessions with therapists
  • Self-administered CBT, in which patients complete an online therapy program on their own

Who can this research help?

Results may help patients with heart disease and doctors when considering ways to use CBT to treat depressive symptoms remotely.

What is the research team doing?

The research team is enrolling 300 patients with depressive symptoms and heart disease who live in rural Kentucky. The team is assigning patients by chance to receive video conferencing CBT or self-administered CBT.

The research team is surveying patients at the start of the study and again 3, 6, and 12 months later. Surveys ask about:

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Treatment satisfaction
  • Perceived stigma related to depression
  • Diet quality
  • Physical activity
  • If patients take their medicine as directed

The research team is comparing these outcomes between the two types of CBT and between men and women.

Patients with heart disease and depression, mental health providers, mental health advocates, and rural healthcare providers are helping to plan and conduct this study.

Research methods at a glance

Design Elements Description
Design Randomized controlled trial
Population 300 adults with depressive symptoms and coronary heart disease who live in rural Kentucky
  • CBT delivered via video conferencing
  • Self-administered online CBT

Primary: depressive symptoms

Secondary: rehospitalization, mortality, medicine adherence, diet quality, physical activity levels

Timeframe 12-month follow-up for primary outcome

Project Information

Debra Moser, PhD
Lynn Doering, PhD, RN
University of Kentucky
Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depressive Symptoms in Rural Patients with Coronary Heart Disease

Key Dates

June 2020
October 2024

Study Registration Information


Award Type
Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary
Intervention Strategy Intervention Strategies PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies that compare two or more options or approaches to health care, or that compare different ways of delivering or receiving care. View Glossary
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: October 18, 2023