Study Detail


Behavioural Activation in Social Isolation (BASIL-C19)

Status: Closed

Type: Interventional

Funder: NIHR

Sponsor: Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

CI: Dr David Ekers

IRAS-Number: 249030

CPMS-ID: 45854

Approval Date: 28 May 2020


This study is based on an existing programme of research, the Multi-morbidity in Older Adults with Depression Study (MODS) which aims to establish if a new treatment for depression in people with long term physical health conditions is effective and good value for money. It focuses on older adults who have minor depression and two or more long-term physical health problems (i.e. diabetes, asthma, heart-disease).For phase1 we first developed a new treatment by talking to older adults with experience of low mood symptoms and physical health problems, and to caregivers and health care professionals. From the understanding we got from these conversations we adapted training and treatment materials used in previous depression studies. We then conducted group discussions with a range of older adults and caregivers, health care providers and academic experts. From this set of materials a short programme (Behavioural Activation) was developed and delivered to around 10 patients recruited from GP practices. We then conducted interviews with patients and health care professionals to further develop materials for use in phase 2. Phase 1 resulted in the short treatment programme (Behavioural Activation) which was given mostly by telephone (with face to face contact for the first session) in late 2019. In March 2020 all older people with multiple health conditions were instructed by the UK government to follow social distancing/isolation guidelines. In response to this, the MODS programme team have amended the Behavioural Activation treatment programme developed in phase 1. The Behavioural Activation in Social IsoLation (BASIL-C19) pilot study aims to test whether this amended treatment programme could be offered to older people with long term conditions to help deal with depression and loneliness during the period of Covid-19 enforced isolation.


This study is part of the MODS (Multi-Morbidity in Older adults with Depression Study) programme, which is looking at whether a talking treatment called Behavioural Activation (BA) can help improve a person's physical and psychological functioning, for example self-care and mood. The first workstream of the programme completed in December 2019, and in response to COVID-19 the study team have made specific adaptations to their intervention to answer the following question, 'can we prevent or ameliorate depression and loneliness in older people with long term conditions who are under enforced COVID-19 isolation?'. This is a pilot study which will be recruiting in primary care. Eligible and consenting participants will be randomised to either the intervention group or the usual care group following completion of a baseline questionnaire.

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