Many psychological treatments aim to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety by modifying maladaptive patterns of cognitions, behavior, and other actions.


The Things You Do Questionnaire (TYDQ) was developed to measure the frequency of actions that are associated with psychological health in a reliable and valid manner. The present study examined treatment-related change in the frequency of actions measured by the TYDQ. Using an uncontrolled single-group design, 409 participants with self-reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, or both received access to an 8-week internet-delivered treatment course based on cognitive behavior therapy.


Most (77 %) participants completed the treatment, completed questionnaires at post-treatment (83 %), and obtained significant reductions in symptoms of depression (d = 0.88) and anxiety at post-treatment (d = 0.97), as well as improvement in a measure of satisfaction with life (d = 0.36). Factor analyses supported the five-factor structure of the TYDQ, including Realistic Thinking, Meaningful Activities, Goals and Plans, Healthy Habits, and Social Connections. Those participants who, on average, engaged in the identified actions on the TYDQ at least half the days of the week reported lower symptoms of depression and anxiety at post-treatment.  The psychometric properties of both a longer 60-item (TYDQ-60) and shorter 21-item (TYDQ-21) version were acceptable.


These findings provide further evidence that there are modifiable activities that are strongly associated with psychological health. Future studies will test the replicability to these results in in a broader range of samples, including those seeking psychological treatment.

Key Takeaways


  • “During online treatment for anxiety and depression, participants reported increases in the frequency of the actions captured by the longer and briefer versions of the TYDQ, as well increases in satisfaction with life, alongside decreases in anxiety and depressive symptoms. “
  • “Further studies are planned to examine the therapeutic potential of TYDQ actions. A further limitation is that the frequency of daily actions was collected via self-report in the current study, the inclusion of alternate and more accurate means of collecting information, for example, monitoring wearable devices (e.g., Rohani et al., 2018), may provide more accurate measurements of daily activity.”
  • “…the frequency of TYDQ actions significantly increased as anxiety and depressive symptoms decreased during the internet-delivered treatment program. These findings provide support for future research to examine whether deliberately encouraging participants to increase the frequency of TYDQ actions may reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms (i.e., even in the absence of other treatments).”


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Appendix A. Supplementary data


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Things You Do Questionnaire 60-item and 21-item




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