Metacognitive therapy home-based self-help for cardiac rehabilitation patients experiencing anxiety and depressive symptoms: study protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled trial (PATHWAY Home-MCT)

Adrian Wells, Kirsten McNicol, David Reeves, Peter Salmon, Linda Davies, Anthony Heagerty, Patrick Doherty, Rebecca McPhillips, Rebecca Anderson, Cintia Faija, Lora Capobianco, Helen Morley, Hannah Gaffney, Calvin Heal, Gemma Shields, Peter Fisher

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BACKGROUND: Anxiety and depression are common among patients attending cardiac rehabilitation services. Currently available pharmacological and psychological interventions have limited effectiveness in this population. There are presently no psychological interventions for anxiety and depression integrated into cardiac rehabilitation services despite emphasis in key UK National Health Service policy. A new treatment, metacognitive therapy, is highly effective at reducing anxiety and depression in mental health settings. The principal aims of the current study are (1) to evaluate the acceptability of delivering metacognitive therapy in a home-based self-help format (Home-MCT) to cardiac rehabilitation patients experiencing anxiety and depressive symptoms and conduct a feasibility trial of Home-MCT plus usual cardiac rehabilitation compared to usual cardiac rehabilitation; and (2) to inform the design and sample size for a full-scale trial.

METHODS: The PATHWAY Home-MCT trial is a single-blind feasibility randomised controlled trial comparing usual cardiac rehabilitation (control) versus usual cardiac rehabilitation plus home-based self-help metacognitive therapy (intervention). Economic and qualitative evaluations will be embedded within the trial. Participants will be assessed at baseline and followed-up at 4 and 12 months. Patients who have been referred to cardiac rehabilitation programmes and have a score of ≥ 8 on the anxiety and/or depression subscales of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale will be invited to take part in the study and written informed consent will be obtained. Participants will be recruited from the National Health Service in the UK. A minimum of 108 participants will be randomised to the intervention and control arms in a 1:1 ratio.

DISCUSSION: The Home-MCT feasibility randomised controlled trial will provide evidence on the acceptability of delivering metacognitive therapy in a home-based self-help format for cardiac rehabilitation patients experiencing symptoms of anxiety and/or depression and on the feasibility and design of a full-scale trial. In addition, it will provide provisional point estimates, with appropriately wide measures of uncertainty, relating to the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the intervention.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:, NCT03129282 , Submitted to Registry: 11 April 2017.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number444
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2018

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© The Author(s). 2018


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