• ICare Prevent

    The recruitment period for this study has ended. For more information, click the “contact” button below.

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How’s your mood?

Feeling blue sometimes? Or stressed? Do you have difficulties sleeping, especially the night before an important meeting or exam? You’re not alone: international studies show that these are common issues. We may have a solution for you.

The study

We are conducting a randomized controlled study. This means that you are randomly allocated to 1 of 3 conditions: the online intervention with or without a personal coach, or no intervention. Our aim is to test whether the intervention is effective in improving mental wellbeing.


Before you can participate, we have to check if this study is something for you. We ask you to sign a consent form and complete some short online questionnaires. Based on the results, we can determine whether you are eligible for participation.  Your data will of course be treated confidentially.

Special attention for young adults – why?

  • For everyone

    • Participation is possible for everyone above the age of 16!
  • An important stage in life

    • Young adults undergo a transition from adolescent to adult.
    • They become more independent.
    • They often face (financial) difficulties, which in turn can increase mental health issues.
    • Risky behavior (such as drug use) can increase.
  • The time of mental health disorders

    • Research shows that 3/4 of all mental disorders start before the age of 24.
    • Psychological problems are more prevalent among young adults.
  • Young adults ask for help less often

    • This makes it more likely that the problems get worse.
    • Ultimately this can result in serious consequences, such as job loss or study delay.

Online interventions

  • What do we mean by online interventions?

    An online intervention is a program that you access and follow online. Programs like ICare Prevent are based on psychological techniques.

  • Whom is ICare Prevent intended for?

    Do you worry about your work, study, relationship, or other things? Are you nervous or afraid that you will not pass the next exam? Or that your supervisor is not satisfied with your performance? Are you not able to relax, have difficulties sleeping or do you find it difficult to make decisions and to focus? ICare Prevent can probably help you.

  • Why online?

    If you are feeling blue and want to do something about it, your general practitioner is often the first person to contact. He or she can prescribe medication or refer you to a psychologist. Usually you end up on a waiting list. Next, you make appointments and see your therapist once or twice a week for a few months.

    However, you also work or study, you exercise, do social things and more: how much time is left to see a therapist? And can you afford it? Would it not be easier if you could follow the sessions at home, at a time that suits you? And do this free of charge? The internet offers opportunities for this. There is no waiting time and you can use the program 24/7.

  • Is there a therapist behind the computer who will guide me?

    The answer is: not necessarily. The idea behind the ICare Prevent online intervention is that you follow it on your own. In the context of this study, you may be allocated to the condition that receives supervision by a master’s student. He or she is trainedand will be giving you feedback online.

  • Are these kinds of interventions effective?

    Yes, they sure are! Research has consistently shown that in particular guided online interventions are as effective as face-to-face therapies when it comes to general psychological problems, such as depression and anxiety.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the ICare Prevent team: icare.fgb@vu.nl. We’ll try to respond to your email as quickly as possible.

What does ICare Prevent look like?

  • Secured intervention platform

    • The platform on which you use the intervention is secured and complies with all Dutch and European privacy guidelines.
  • 7 main modules

    • All modules are based on cognitive behavioral therapy (the most common approach to mood and anxiety disorders, of which the effectiveness has been proven).
    • The intervention works best if you follow one module a week.
    • Each module consists of text, audiovisual components, testimonials and most importantly: exercises that help you tackling your complaints actively.
  • 1 booster module

    • 4 weeks after the last module you will get access to a final one. This is to recap what you have learned throughout the whole program. This will give you a boost for the future!
  • Diaries

    • You’ll get access to 5 diaries. These allow you to map various things, including: your mood, your sleep, your pleasant activities or situations that you find difficult.
    • A chart is created based on the diaries. It shows how e.g. your mood changes over time.
  • Smartphone support

    • You can also access the diaries through an app. Moreover, you can opt to receive short motivational messages and exercises on a daily basis.
  • Online coach

    • As part of this study we test 2 different versions of the intervention in relation to a control group (no intervention): one with guidance by a coach and one without guidance (you have equal chances to be in one of the 3 groups).
    • The online coach provides feedback on your exercises through the intervention platform.
    • In most cases, the online coach is a master’s student in clinical psychology who has been trained in coaching through online interventions.

About us

These are the people behind ICare Prevent

Felix Bolinski

Felix Bolinski

PhD candidate Clinical Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Heleen Riper

Heleen Riper

Professor eMental Health, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Annet Kleiboer

Annet Kleiboer

Associate Professor Clinical Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Pim Cuijpers

Pim Cuijpers

Professor Cinical Psychology, Head of the department of Clinical, Neuro, & Developmental Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Khadicha Amarti

Khadicha Amarti

Research assistant Clinical Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam