Effectiveness of an internet-based intervention for procrastination in college students (StudiCare Procrastination): Study protocol of a randomized controlled trial

Ann Marie Küchler, Patrick Albus, David Daniel Ebert, Harald Baumeister

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Procrastination, defined as irrational and voluntary delaying of necessary tasks, is widespread and clinically relevant. Its high prevalence among college students comes with serious consequences for mental health and well-being of those affected. Research for proper treatment is still relatively scarce and treatment of choice seems to be cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness and acceptability of an internet- and mobile-based intervention (IMI) for procrastination based on CBT for college students. Methods: A two-armed randomized controlled trial with a calculated sample size of N = 120 participants with problematic procrastination behavior will be conducted. Students will be recruited in Germany, Austria and Switzerland via circular emails at 15+ cooperating universities in the framework of StudiCare, a well-established project that provides IMIs to college students for different health related issues. The intervention group will receive the e-coach guided 5-week IMI StudiCare Procrastination. A waitlist-control group will get access to the unguided IMI 12 weeks after randomization. Assessments will take place before as well as 6 and 12 weeks after randomization. Primary outcome is procrastination, measured by the Irrational Procrastination Scale (IPS). Secondary outcomes include susceptibility to temptation, depression, anxiety, wellbeing and self-efficacy as well as acceptability aspects such as intervention satisfaction, adherence and potential side effects. Additionally, several potential moderators as well as the potential mediators self-efficacy and susceptibility to temptation will be examined exploratorily. Data-analysis will be performed on intention-to-treat basis. Discussion: This study will contribute to the evidence concerning effectiveness and acceptability of an intervention for procrastination delivered via the internet. If it shows to be effective, StudiCare Procrastination could provide a low-threshold, cost-efficient way to help the multitude of students suffering from problems caused by procrastination. Trial registration: The trial is registered at the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform via the German Clinical Studies Trial Register (DRKS): DRKS00014321 (date of registration: 06.04.2018). In case of important protocol modifications, trial registration will be updated. Trial status: This is protocol version number 1, 11th December 2019. Recruitment started 9th of April 2018 and was completed 30th of November 2018. Assessment and intervention are still ongoing and will be completed by April 2019.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100245
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternet Interventions
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

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Internet
Randomized Controlled Trials
Students
Cognitive Therapy
Self Efficacy
Random Allocation
Clinical Trials
Austria
Clinical Protocols
Switzerland
Sample Size
Germany
Registries
Mental Health
Anxiety
Depression
Costs and Cost Analysis
Control Groups
Health
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • College students
  • Internet-based intervention
  • Online intervention
  • Procrastination
  • Randomized controlled trial

Cite this

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title = "Effectiveness of an internet-based intervention for procrastination in college students (StudiCare Procrastination): Study protocol of a randomized controlled trial",
abstract = "Background: Procrastination, defined as irrational and voluntary delaying of necessary tasks, is widespread and clinically relevant. Its high prevalence among college students comes with serious consequences for mental health and well-being of those affected. Research for proper treatment is still relatively scarce and treatment of choice seems to be cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness and acceptability of an internet- and mobile-based intervention (IMI) for procrastination based on CBT for college students. Methods: A two-armed randomized controlled trial with a calculated sample size of N = 120 participants with problematic procrastination behavior will be conducted. Students will be recruited in Germany, Austria and Switzerland via circular emails at 15+ cooperating universities in the framework of StudiCare, a well-established project that provides IMIs to college students for different health related issues. The intervention group will receive the e-coach guided 5-week IMI StudiCare Procrastination. A waitlist-control group will get access to the unguided IMI 12 weeks after randomization. Assessments will take place before as well as 6 and 12 weeks after randomization. Primary outcome is procrastination, measured by the Irrational Procrastination Scale (IPS). Secondary outcomes include susceptibility to temptation, depression, anxiety, wellbeing and self-efficacy as well as acceptability aspects such as intervention satisfaction, adherence and potential side effects. Additionally, several potential moderators as well as the potential mediators self-efficacy and susceptibility to temptation will be examined exploratorily. Data-analysis will be performed on intention-to-treat basis. Discussion: This study will contribute to the evidence concerning effectiveness and acceptability of an intervention for procrastination delivered via the internet. If it shows to be effective, StudiCare Procrastination could provide a low-threshold, cost-efficient way to help the multitude of students suffering from problems caused by procrastination. Trial registration: The trial is registered at the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform via the German Clinical Studies Trial Register (DRKS): DRKS00014321 (date of registration: 06.04.2018). In case of important protocol modifications, trial registration will be updated. Trial status: This is protocol version number 1, 11th December 2019. Recruitment started 9th of April 2018 and was completed 30th of November 2018. Assessment and intervention are still ongoing and will be completed by April 2019.",
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Effectiveness of an internet-based intervention for procrastination in college students (StudiCare Procrastination) : Study protocol of a randomized controlled trial. / Küchler, Ann Marie; Albus, Patrick; Ebert, David Daniel; Baumeister, Harald.

In: Internet Interventions, Vol. 17, 100245, 09.2019, p. 1-9.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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