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Behavioural Activation for Depression Masterclass

The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria

Friday, 6 October 2017 from 12:00 to 15:00 (BST)

Behavioural Activation for Depression Masterclass

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Delegate registration 3 Oct 2017 Free   Add to Waitlist

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Event Details

Due to the popularity of the event ran on 5th July at Ramside Hall we are repeating the event.

Depression affects 5-10% of the population, is set to become the second largest cause of disease burden by 2020. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the gold standard psychological treatment but access remains limited. Behavioural Activation (BA) is a therapy with ‘less moving parts’, is simpler in construct to CBT and may be as effective. BA could offer increased access if suitable for delivery by a wide range of staff.

Behavioural activation is emerging as an effective and practical psychological treatment for depression. We conducted a program of research including meta-analysis, pilot study (Ekers et al 2011) and definitive non-inferiority Randomised Controlled Trial, COBRA study (Richards et al 2016, Finning et al 2017) of BA delivered by non specialist compared to CBT. We have also Explored the effectiveness of BA focussed collaborative care in treating older adults with sub threshold depression (Gilbody et al 2017).

This Behavioural Activation for Depression Masterclass will update the audience on the theoretical background to this intervention and how this relates to its core elements. The contents of Behavioural Activation as delivered in the studies will be outlined and related to adults, older adults and depression prevention.

The new evidence will be presented and placed into the context of the challenge of delivery of effective and accessible talking therapies in the NHS.

Learning outcomes:


  • Understand the theoretical basis of Behavioural Activation for Depression.
  • Understand the key intervention components and intervention rationale used in our recent trials.
  • Have an overview of the results of recent large scale multicentre studies of BA and how this may provide opportunities for improved access to psychological interventions.

David Ekers 
Dr David Ekers is a Nurse Consultant in Primary Care Mental Health at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Mental Health and Addictions Research Group (MHARG) at The University of York. He has been an accredited CBT therapist since 1997.  David is internationally recognised as an expert on Behavioural Activation for depression. He lead the first study to examine BA’s utility when delivered by non specialists and was a co investigator and site lead on the NIHR funder COBRA and CASPER studies. David is the Chief investigator of the NIHR funded Community Pharmacy Mood Intervention Study and works clinically in community primary care/acute mental health teams. 

Ekers D, Richards D, McMillan D et al. (2011) Behavioural Activation delivered by the non specialist: phase II randomised controlled trial. British journal of psychiatry; 198(1): 66-72

Richards D, Ekers D, McMillan D, et al. (2016). Cost and Outcome of Behavioural Activation versus Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression (COBRA): a randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial.  The Lancet, 388, 10047,  2016, 871–880

Gilbody,. S, Lewis, H., Adamson J. et al . (2017). Effect of collaborative care vs. usual care on depressive symptoms in older adults with subthreshold depression: The CASPER Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA, 317, 728-737. 

Finning,K ,. Richards, D,. Moore, L,. Ekers, D, et al. (2017). Cost and outcome of behavioural activation versus cognitive behavioural therapy for depression (COBRA): a qualitative process evaluation. BMJ Open. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014161



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Do you have questions about Behavioural Activation for Depression Masterclass ? Contact The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria

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When & Where

The Durham Centre
Belmont Industrial Estate
DH1 1TN Durham
United Kingdom

Friday, 6 October 2017 from 12:00 to 15:00 (BST)

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The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria

The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) is dedicated to improving healthcare and supporting wealth creation through partnership working and promotion of innovation across the NHS, Academia and Industry.

With a remit to provide system-wide integration, we facilitate interactions with multiple partner organisations across the region. Principally we work with the NHS Trusts, CCGs and Universities which form our core membership, and we collaborate closely with many other stakeholder groups. We support the inclusive, collegiate approaches that are needed to address shared problems at a system level.

Wealth Creation and Health Improvement have a common requirement for innovation. The AHSN NENC supports all aspects of innovation across healthcare from creating a culture that supports the innovation through to the dissemination and adoption of effective practice and proven technologies.

We have therefore achieved the regional reach and the local buy-in that is necessary to deliver cross-organisational programmes to improve health and create wealth in the region.

The YouGov survey results from the Autumn of 2015 provide external validation of the work being undertaken by the AHSN NENC. With responses in the top third for 32 out of 33 responses relative to those of the AHSN Network Nationally, the North East and North Cumbria region are clearly leading the way in providing an effective contribution to the local innovation and health improvement landscape.

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Behavioural Activation for Depression Masterclass
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