Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course Study – PSP NET

Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course Study

Overview of the study

PSPNET is currently offering the PSP Wellbeing Course with therapist support in certain provinces, and we hope to expand our therapist-supported services to other provinces soon. Meanwhile, we are conducting a study to evaluate the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course (i.e., a self-help version of the course without therapist guidance) to PSP across Canada. All PSP who participate in this study will be given access to the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course.

About the self-guided PSP Wellbeing Course

The Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course is designed to provide PSP with free education and guidance on simple techniques for managing various mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress injuries. Specifically, the course is designed to show you how to manage the thoughts, behaviours, and physical symptoms that are impacting your wellbeing.

Some PSPNET clients have very mild concerns. Others describe their symptoms as having a moderate impact, and others report their concerns are severe. We highly recommend seeking help before symptoms become severe. Working on your mental health is similar to working on your physical health – ultimately, it is a daily process, and this course gives you strategies you can use longer-term.

As part of this study, we are comparing two slightly different versions of the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course. All participants will be randomly assigned to use one of the two versions, which will allow us to determine whether one results in better outcomes than the other. All participants will be debriefed about how the two versions differed from one another at the end of the study (20 weeks after beginning the course).

If you have questions about this study or how to sign up, feel free to call us at 306-337-7233 (or toll-free at 1-833-317-7233) or email us at pspnet@uregina.ca, and a PSPNET team member can answer your questions.

Am I eligible to participate in this study?

You are eligible to participate in this study if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are a public safety personnel (including but not necessarily limited to border services officers, public safety communicators, correctional workers, career and volunteer firefighters, Indigenous emergency managers, operational intelligence personnel, paramedics, police, and search and rescue personnel).
  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • You currently live in Canada.
  • You have regular access to the internet through a computer.

If you do not meet all of these criteria but are interested in receiving access to the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course, we encourage you to complete the Eligibility Screening Questionnaire anyhow. You may be eligible to receive access to the course without participating in the research study.

How to sign up for the self-guided PSP Wellbeing Course study?

Complete the eligibility screening questionnaire at the link below. A PSPNET team member will then contact you by email to confirm your eligibility and sign you up for the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course.

Answers

Why was this Course developed?

This course was designed to be helpful for PSP who have mental health concerns who are looking for a new way to access services or are faced with barriers for accessing care such as:

  • geographical barriers (e.g., difficulty accessing care while posted to remote locations);
  • logistical barriers (e.g., shift work limits access to standard service hours, busy work and family life);
  • stigma barriers (e.g., perceptions of being evaluated negatively for having mental health concerns); or
  • limited resources (e.g., insufficient access).

Who developed the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course?

An ICBT course called the Wellbeing Course was originally developed at Macquarie University in Australia and was then adapted and researched by the Online Therapy Unit at the University of Regina. The Wellbeing Course has shown success as a treatment for anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder. PSPNET has recently adapted the Wellbeing Course for PSP, including First Responders. The Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course is a version of the PSP Wellbeing Course that does not involve therapist support. We are now evaluating the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course for the first time.

What does the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course involve?

The Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course is an internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (ICBT) program. ICBT involves using the internet to deliver the same treatment content that is normally covered in face-to-face cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for depression, anxiety, or posttraumatic injuries.

Lesson materials are presented online on a weekly basis over the course of 8 weeks, although PSP will have access to the lesson materials for up to 20 weeks after enrolling in the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course Study.

There are 5 main lessons, but extra materials are available as needed (e.g., to address sleep concerns, social relationships, problem solving).

Lessons are presented in an engaging manner, and assignments are given at the end of each lesson to help with learning strategies. Clients are typically sent automated emails that encourage them to complete the lessons.

Is support available from therapists?

The Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course is NOT therapist-assisted. Currently, we are only able to offer therapist-assisted ICBT to PSP in certain provinces, but we hope to extend our therapist-supported ICBT programs to additional provinces and territories soon.

Will my participation in the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing course be kept confidential?

Your participation is confidential. There are, however, some rare circumstances under which we may need to break confidentiality:

  1. If there is reason for us to suspect there is a risk of potential, imminent harm to you or others (e.g., if you emailed the PSPNET team and described plans to harm yourself or someone else).
  2. If there is reason for us to suspect neglect or harm to a child, including the witnessing of violence (e.g., if you emailed the PSPNET team and described neglecting or harming a child).
  3. If a court order requires us to release information.
  4. If we are required to release information by legislation.

PSPNET is a research facility. As such, when your information is used for research and scholarly purposes, we de-identify the information used for these purposes. This means that your information will only ever be analyzed and presented in a way such that you are not identifiable.

What research is being done on this course?

Before enrolling in the study and again at 8 weeks and 20 weeks after enrolling in the study, we ask participants to complete questionnaires to help us evaluate the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course. We also ask clients to complete extremely brief questionnaires at 2, 4, and 6 weeks after enrolling in the study. This feedback is reviewed by the research team to help us understand the strengths and challenges of the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course and how to improve the course. We want to understand the extent to which PSP will engage with the course and also how the course will impact symptoms. These questionnaires do not take very long, but they provide us with important information on your progress and the outcomes of ICBT.

Will the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course be offered in French?

The Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course is not currently offered in French but we hope to translate it in the future pending the results of the current research. However, the therapist-assisted PSP Wellbeing Course is currently being offered in both English and French. Please click here for details.

What is the longer-term outcome of the project?

By the end of the project, we intend to determine the effectiveness of the PSP Wellbeing Course when it is offered in a self-guided format.

How long will PSPNET be providing the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course?

The Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course is currently available. However, our ability to continue offering the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course in the future will depend on several factors, including the availability of funding, the initial results of our research on the course, and the extent to which we are able to provide therapist-assisted ICBT to PSP in your area.

Where can I find out more information?

For information about the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course contact 306-337-7233 (SAFE) or email pspnet@uregina.ca.

How do I sign up?

If you are interested in participating in the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course Study, please complete the eligibility screening questionnaire at the link below.