Emotional disorders, which include both anxiety and depressive disorders, are the most prevalent psychological disorders according to recent epidemiological studies. Consequently, public costs associated with their treatment have become a matter of concern for public health systems, which face long waiting lists. Because of their high prevalence in the population, finding an effective treatment for emotional disorders has become a key goal of today's clinical psychology. The Unified Protocol for the Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders might serve the aforementioned purpose, as it can be applied to a variety of disorders simultaneously and it can be easily performed in a group format.
The study is a multicenter, randomized, non-inferiority controlled clinical trial. Participants will be 220 individuals with emotional disorders, who are randomized to either a treatment as usual (individual cognitive behavioral therapy) or to a Unified Protocol condition in group format. Depression, anxiety, and diagnostic criteria are the primary outcome measures. Secondary measures include the assessment of positive and negative affect, anxiety control, personality traits, overall adjustment, and quality of life. An analysis of treatment satisfaction is also conducted. Assessment points include baseline, post-treatment, and three follow-ups at 3, 6, and 12 months. To control for missing data and possible biases, intention-to-treat and per-protocol analyses will be performed.
This is the first randomized, controlled clinical trial to test the effectiveness of a transdiagnostic intervention in a group format for the treatment of emotional disorders in public settings in Spain. Results obtained from this study may have important clinical, social, and economic implications for public mental health settings in Spain.
Retrospectively registered at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ . Trial NCT03064477 (March 10, 2017). The trial is active and recruitment is ongoing. Recruitment is expected to finish by January 2020.