Randomised Control Trial of ePACT: A Flexible Treatment of Depression and Anxiety in Adults Living with Chronic Spinal Cord Injury.

Previous research has shown that many people living with spinal cord injury (SCI) demonstrate great resiliency and lead happy, productive lives.  However, there are also many others who experience emotional difficulties such as depression or anxiety.  The Electronic Personal Administration of Cognitive Therapy program - ePACT, was developed as a direct consequence of previous Australian research.  This research found that not only were many community-dwelling individuals with a chronic spinal cord injury suffering the extra burden of depression and/or anxiety, the majority were not receiving any psychological support or care. The successful pilot of ePACT provided promising results with participants experiencing increased well-being and decreased symptoms of distress.

The ePACT trial will extend the pilot study, gathering quantitative and qualitative evidence in support of ePACT as an effective online therapeutic treatment that will improve the mental health and quality of life among people with SCI living in the community.  The trial uses a randomised waitlist control design.


  1. The symptoms of depression and/or anxiety will be significantly reduced in people with SCI and co-morbid emotional disorder who complete ePACT compared to wait-list controls.
  2. Individuals with SCI and co-morbid emotional disorder who complete ePACT will experience significant improvement in their quality of life compared to wait-list controls.
  3. Improvements in mental health and quality of life will be maintained 6mths following ePACT.

Chief Investigator

Dr Christine Migliorini


Dr Andrew Sinclair, Dr Peter New, Assoc Prof Doug Brown, Emeritus Prof Bruce Tonge.

Collaborators & Participating Sites

  • Victorian Spinal Cord Service, Austin Health
  • Caulfield Hospital Spinal Rehabilitation Unit
  • Monash University
  • Independence Australia – community Solutions


For more information about the ePACT study please contact:

Dr Christine Migliorini

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The SRI aims to facilitate world-class research to improve the wellbeing of people living with spinal cord injury by bringing together research and clinical expertise, coordinating and promoting participation in research and by building dedicated research infrastructure.

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