Prevention of violent revictimization in depressed patients with an add-on internet-based emotion regulation training (iERT): study protocol for a multicenter randomized controlled trial: Study protocol for a multicenter randomized controlled trial

Carolien Christ, Marleen M. de Waal, Digna J. F. van Schaik, Martijn J. Kikkert, Matthijs Blankers, Claudi L. H. Bockting, Aartjan T. F. Beekman, Jack J. M. Dekker

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Background: Psychiatric patients are at high risk of becoming victim of a violent crime compared to the general population. Although most research has focused on patients with severe mental illness, depressed patients have been demonstrated to be prone to victimization as well. Victimization is associated with more severe symptomatology, decreased quality of life, and high risk of revictimization. Hence, there is a strong need for interventions that focus on preventing violent revictimization. Since emotion dysregulation is associated with both victimization and depression, we developed an internet-based Emotion Regulation Training (iERT) to reduce revictimization in depressed patients. This study aims to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of iERT added to Treatment As Usual (TAU) in reducing incidents of violent revictimization among depressed patients with a recent history of victimization. Furthermore, this study aims to examine secondary clinical outcomes, and moderators and mediators that may be associated with treatment outcomes. Methods: In a multicenter randomized controlled trial with parallel group design, patients with a major depressive disorder and a history of violent victimization over the past three years (N = 200) will be allocated to either TAU + iERT (N = 100) or TAU only (N = 100), based on computer-generated stratified block randomization. Assessments will take place at baseline, 8 weeks, 14 weeks, and 6 months after start of treatment, and 12, 24, and 36 months after baseline. The primary outcome measure is the total number of violent victimization incidents at 12 months after baseline, measured with the Safety Monitor: an adequate self-report questionnaire that assesses victimization over the preceding 12 months. Secondary outcome measures and mediators include emotion dysregulation and depressive symptomatology. An economic evaluation with the societal perspective will be performed alongside the trial. Discussion: This study is the first to examine the effectiveness of an intervention aimed at reducing violent revictimization in depressed patients. If effective, iERT can be implemented in mental health care, and contribute to the well-being of depressed patients. Furthermore, the results will provide insight into underlying mechanisms of revictimization
Original languageEnglish
Article number29
Pages (from-to)29
JournalBMC psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2018


  • Depression
  • E-mental health
  • Emotion regulation
  • IERT-training
  • Internet-based intervention
  • Multicenter randomized controlled trial
  • Victimization
  • Violence prevention

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