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Table 1 Content online intervention

From: E-care 4 caregivers – an online intervention for nonprofessional caregivers of patients with depression: study protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial




1. What is depression?

Psychoeducation concerning symptoms, diagnosis, types, and causes of, as well as treatment options for, depression

To familiarize caregivers with the nature of the depressive disorder and its treatment to enable recognition of symptoms

2. Implications of depression for the caregiver

Emotions that can arise for the caregiver and the family, grief processes that occur, and practical implications of the depression

To recognize, validate, and accept negative emotions that can arise in a caregiver when facing the situation that a loved one has depression

3. How to think differently

Automatic thoughts, cognitive distortions, and how to correct these using principles of cognitive therapy

Using cognitive principles to recognize dysfunctional thoughts and change them to help caregivers in this stressful situation

4. Signaling stress and burnout

Psychoeducation about causes and signs of stress using the capabilities/workload model

Recognition and/or prevention of symptoms of overburdening and stress

5. Caring for yourself

Tips to better take care of yourself and your own boundaries with exercises about help-seeking, assertiveness, time-management, and relaxation exercises

Preventing and/or decreasing symptoms of overburdening and stress via various exercises

6. Learning to communicate better

Psychoeducation about communicating with someone with depression using the disarm technique and principles of emotionally focused therapy

To recognize your own role in communicating while understanding someone with depression better to avoid constant repetitive arguments

7. Coping with suicidality

Psychoeducation about suicidality, tips to communicate about suicidality, establishing and following safety procedures

Empowering caregiver with more knowledge about suicidality and safety measures as well as gaining more confidence in communication and setting boundaries

8. Caring for children of a parent with depression

Psychoeducation about possible consequences for the children of a parent with depression, with tips for communication, structure, and referral possibilities

Support parents to raise their children to become emotionally balanced individuals within a challenging environment where one parent has depression