Despite the high prevalence and burden of mental health disorders, the majority of affected individuals go untreated. Therefore, increased efforts have been made to develop and examine brief online interventions as a cost-effective, broadly disseminable alternative to traditional psychotherapy. In particular, recent studies have demonstrated the efficacy of online interventions targeting transdiagnostic risk factors such as anxiety sensitivity (AS), thwarted belongingness (TB), and perceived burdensomeness (PB). Although improved psychosocial functioning is an important indicator of successful treatment, no studies to our knowledge have examined the impact of brief web-based interventions on functional outcomes.
The current study examined the effects of brief online interventions targeting AS, TB, and PB on occupational, social, and family life functioning in two samples (N = 74; N = 247).
In Study 1, results demonstrate a significant impact of an AS treatment on social functioning at one-month follow-up, mediated by pre-to-post reductions in AS. In Study 2, results demonstrate a significant impact of a mood intervention targeting TB and PB on social functioning at one-month follow-up.
The results of the current study suggest that brief online interventions may have a significant impact on functional impairment, particularly social functioning. This provides further support for the continued development and implementation of brief online interventions.