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Individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis of psychological relapse prevention interventions versus control for patients in remission from depression: a protocol
  1. Josefien J F Breedvelt1,
  2. Fiona C Warren2,
  3. Marlies E Brouwer1,
  4. Eirini Karyotaki3,4,
  5. Willem Kuyken5,
  6. Pim Cuijpers3,
  7. Patricia van Oppen6,
  8. Simon Gilbody7,
  9. Claudi L H Bockting1
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry and Amsterdam Public Health research institute, Amsterdam University Medical Centre - Location AMC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Institute of Health Research, College of Medicine & Health, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  3. 3Department of Clinical, Neuro and Developmental Psychology, Amsterdam Public Health research institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  4. 4Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  5. 5Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK
  6. 6Department of Psychiatry, Amsterdam Public Health research institute, Amsterdam University Medical Centre, location VUmc and GGZ InGeest, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  7. 7Mental Health and Addictions Research Group - Department of Health Sciences, The University of York, York, UK
  1. Correspondence to Josefien J F Breedvelt; j.j.breedvelt{at}


Introduction Psychological interventions and antidepressant medication can be effective interventions to prevent depressive relapse for patients currently in remission of depression. Less is known about overall factors that predict or moderate treatment response for patients receiving a psychological intervention for recurrent depression. This is a protocol for an individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis which aims to assess predictors and moderators of relapse or recurrence for patients currently in remission from depression.

Methods and analysis Searches of PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were completed on 13 October 2019. Study extractions and risk of bias assessments have been completed. Study authors will be asked to contribute IPD. Standard aggregate meta-analysis and IPD analysis will be conducted, and the outcomes will be compared with assess whether results differ between studies supplying data and those that did not. IPD files of individual data will be merged and variables homogenised where possible for consistency. IPD will be analysed via Cox regression and one and two-stage analyses will be conducted.

Ethics and dissemination The results will be published in peer review journals and shared in a policy briefing as well as accessible formats and shared with a range of stakeholders. The results will inform patients and clinicians and researchers about our current understanding of more personalised ways to prevent a depressive relapse. No local ethics approval was necessary following consultation with the legal department. Guidance on patient data storage and management will be adhered to.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42019127844.

  • depression & mood disorders
  • individual participant data
  • psychotherapy
  • relapse prevention
  • personalized medicine

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published. The names of the authors,

    Fiona C Warren, Marlies E Brouwer, and Patricia van Oppen, have been corrected.

  • Contributors JB, MB and CLB conceptualised the study. FCW and WK delivered input on study conceptualisation and FCW specifically, critically revised and reviewed the protocol and statistical analysis plan. EK and PC critically reviewed the protocol for missing intellectual content and accuracy. PvO evaluated the study concept and outline, critically reviewed the protocol, all study materials and advised on the consortium. SG critically reviewed the protocol for missing intellectual content and accuracy and provided input on methodological and data access queries.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Amsterdam Public Health Institute Collaborative grant 2018.

  • Competing interests CLB is coeditor of PLOS One and receives no honorarium for this role. CLB is also codeveloper of the Dutch multidisciplinary clinical guideline for anxiety and depression, for which she receives no remuneration. She is also a member of the scientific advisory board of the National Insure Institute, for which she receives an honorarium, although this role has no direct relation to this study. CLB has presented keynote addresses at conferences, such as the European Psychiatry Association and the European Conference Association, for which she sometimes receives an honorarium. She has presented clinical training workshops, some of which include a fee. CLB receives royalties from her books and coedited books, and she developed PCT on the basis of the cognitive model of A T Beck. JB is employed by the Mental Health Foundation, a charity focused on promoting and improving mental health.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval was not deemed necessary after consultation with the legal department.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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