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Published Papers


New Zealand Demonstration of Beating the Blues

Category: Publishedpapers
Posted by: admin

In 2008 a New Zealand demonstration of Beating the Blues® in the Primary Health Care setting was undertaken. The demonstration involved four Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) in Northland and was delivered by Opening Doors Limited, Whangarei.

General Practitioners (GPs) and primary mental health practitioners in 4 areas of Northland, identified as having an interest in the use of computerised CBT were invited to be part of the demonstration. Patients were referred by both the participating GPs and primary mental health practitioners. Patients were identified by clinical assessment and the use of the Beating the Blues® suitability and exclusion criteria. A total of 100 patients participated in the Beating the Blues® programme.

Delivery methods

The delivery method for Beating the Blues® was identified through close liaison between Opening Doors and each PHO to meet the particular needs of the PHO and the communities they serve. Delivery methods varied from use in GP clinics, use supported by an administration worker, to delivery by representatives from the Māori population.

Evaluation measures

Evaluation included use of the CORE Outcome Measure (CORE-OM) to assess individual patient progress and the overall clinical efficacy of Beating the Blues® for the group. The CORE-OM was completed by patients as part of the programme before they began session 1 and after session 8. Developed by the CORE Systems Group (clinicians and researchers representing psychiatry, psychotherapy, counselling and psychology) the CORE-OM provides information on four separate areas of clinical importance:

  • Well-being –e.g. how patients feel about themselves
  • Problems – e.g. symptoms
  • Functioning – e.g. close relationships, social life and general functioning
  • Risk – e.g. an indicator of risk of harming self or others.

Demographic information including ethnicity and culture identified was collected as part of the initial referral information. In addition, patients completed a brief questionnaire at the end of the programme to assess the acceptability of the programme and their satisfaction with the treatment overall.

Outcome of the demonstration

CORE-OM scores pre and post Beating the Blues® indicated clinical change and benefit from the treatment (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

Figure 1. CORE-OM scores pre and post treatment for Northland demonstration

* The CORE-OM includes 34 questions within 4 Clinical Dimensions (Wellbeing, Problems, Functioning, Risk). Each Clinical Dimension has a maximum score of 4, with a higher score indicating a higher level of reported problems and higher levels of distress and conversely, a lower score indicating clinical improvement.

Clinical and patient feedback reported a real need and benefit to delivering Beating the Blues® as a treatment choice within New Zealand PHO services. Patient questionnaire feedback indicated that a majority (62%) of patients were satisfied with this form of help and were also happy with the programme presentation and content.


The findings of the Northland demonstration support the use of Beating the Blues® in the New Zealand primary care setting. The programme was well-received by clinicians and patients, and shown to be effective for individual patients with depression and/or anxiety in effecting clinical change.