Published in Journal of Mental Health on January 5th, 2022.


Authors: Sunniva Brurok Myklebost, Ole Myklebust Amundsen, Adam W A Geraghty, Yavuz Inal, Åsa Hammar and Tine Nordgreen


Background: Cognitive difficulties are rarely addressed after the treatment of major depressive dis- order (MDD). New scalable treatments are needed. To ensure relevance and engagement of novel interventions, there is a need to understand the perspectives of the users.

Aim: Explore former depressed adults needs and perspectives during the planning and development of a novel internet-delivered intervention targeting residual cognitive symptoms after MDD.

Method: The planning phase included exploratory qualitative interviews with former depressed adults (n1⁄416). In the development phase, a prototype including psychoeducation, attention training and compensatory strategies was tested in think-aloud interviews with former depressed adults (n 1⁄4 7) and psychologists (n 1⁄4 4). Data were analysed thematically.

Results: Analysis of exploratory interviews identified four themes. Experiences of residual cognitive symptoms consisted of two sub-themes (Everyday life is more demanding; Concerns about cognitive difficulties). Coping with residual cognitive symptoms had two sub-themes (Compensatory strategies; Acceptance). Needs from an intervention consisted of two-subthemes (Being overwhelmed; Not being motivated; Frequent registration). Analysis of think-aloud interviews was organized into three themes: Positive perceptions of content; Concerns regarding content; Perceptions of Layout, Visuals and Navigation.

Conclusion: The intervention may address concerns and consequences of cognitive difficulties by including psychoeducation, compensatory strategies and elements to increase acceptance and motiv- ation, provided in manageable proportions.