Online versus paper-based screening for depression and anxiety in adults with cystic fibrosis in Ireland: a cross-sectional exploratory study
Duff, Alistair J.
Riekert, Kristin A.
Perry, Ivan J.
Fitzgerald, Anthony P.
Horgan, Aine M.
Ní Chroinin, Muireann
BMJ Publishing Group
Objective: To compare online and paper-based screening for depression and anxiety in adults with cystic fibrosis (CF). Design and setting: Cross-sectional study in CF clinics in Ireland and through the Cystic Fibrosis Ireland online community. Participants: 160 adult patients aged 18 or above were recruited. Of these, 147 were included in the analysis; 83 online and 64 paper-based. The remaining 13 were excluded because of incomplete data. Measures: Depression and anxiety were measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Data on pulmonary function (forced expiratory volume in 1 s %) and body mass index were self-reported based on clinical assessments. Sociodemographic data were collected. Results: Compared with the paper-based participants, the online participants were more likely to be female (61.7% vs 48.4%), older (mean 32.2 vs 28.2 years) and were more likely to be married (32.5% vs 15.6%), living with their spouse or partner (42.5% vs 22.6%) and working either full time (33.7% vs 15.9%) or part time (30.1%vs 17.5%). The prevalence rates of elevated anxiety and depression were not significantly different (P=0.71 and P=0.56). HADS anxiety and depression scores were not statistically different between online (P=0.83) and paper-based (P=0.92) participants based on Mann-Whitney U test. A significant negative correlation was found between depression and pulmonary function (r=−0.39, P=0.01) and anxiety and pulmonary function (r=−0.36, P=0.02). Based on Cronbach’s alpha, there were no statistically significant differences between the online and paper-based participants on the internal consistency of the HADS anxiety (P=0.073) and depression (P=0.378) scales. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that online and paper-based screening for depression and anxiety in adult patients with CF yield comparable findings on prevalence rates and scores, associations with health and internal consistency of subscales. This study highlights that online screening offers an alternative method to paper-based screening. Further research with a larger sample and assessment of measurement equivalence between online and paper based screening is needed to confirm our results.
HADS , Cystic fibrosis , Anxiety , Depression
Cronly, J., Duff, A. J., Riekert, K. A., Perry, I. J., Fitzgerald, A. P., Horgan, A., Lehane, E., Howe, B., Ni Chroinin, M. and Savage, E. (2018) 'Online versus paper-based screening for depression and anxiety in adults with cystic fibrosis in Ireland: a cross-sectional exploratory study', BMJ Open, 8(1), e019305 (9pp). doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019305
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