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BACKGROUND: A RCT of a novel intervention to detect antidepressant medication response (the PReDicT Test) took place in five European countries, accompanied by a nested study of its acceptability and implementation presented here. The RCT results indicated no effect of the intervention on depression at 8 weeks (primary outcome), although effects on anxiety at 8 weeks and functioning at 24 weeks were found. METHODS: The nested study used mixed methods. The aim was to explore patient experiences of the Test including acceptability and implementation, to inform its use within care. A bespoke survey was completed by trial participants in five countries (n = 778) at week 8. Semi-structured interviews were carried out in two countries soon after week 8 (UK n = 22, Germany n = 20). Quantitative data was analysed descriptively; for qualitative data, thematic analysis was carried out using a framework approach. Results of the two datasets were interrogated together. OUTCOMES: Survey results showed the intervention was well received, with a majority of participants indicating they would use it again, and it gave them helpful extra information; a small minority indicated the Test made them feel worse. Qualitative data showed the Test had unexpected properties, including: instigating a process of reflection, giving participants feedback on progress and new understanding about their illness, and making participants feel supported and more engaged in treatment. INTERPRETATION: The qualitative and quantitative results are generally consistent. The Test's unexpected properties may explain why the RCT showed little effect, as properties were experienced across both trial arms. Beyond the RCT, the qualitative data sheds light on measurement reactivity, i.e., how measurements of depression can impact patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Compr Psychiatry

Publication Date





Depression, Digital Technology, Measurement reactivity, PRIMARY CARE, Qualitative