Does Online Therapy Work?

Recent studies have shown that Online Therapy for Depression and Anxiety might be as effective as in person therapy.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh in the US enrolled 704 depressed and anxious patients who were between 18 to 75 years old.

They showed that providing an online computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (CCBT) programme both alone and in combination with Internet Support Groups (ISG) provided better outcomes for patients.

Providing an online therapy may be a more effective treatment for anxiety and depression than usual primary care, scientists have found.

Over the six-month intervention, 83 per cent of patients randomised to CCBT started the programme, and they completed an average of 5.3 sessions.

Seventy-seven per cent of patients assigned to the ISG logged into the site at least once, and 46 per cent provided one or more posts or comments.

Six months later, those patients randomised to CCBT reported significant improvements in their mood and anxiety symptoms and the more CCBT sessions patients completed, the greater the improvement in mood and anxiety symptoms.

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In another study,  a joint project between the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester, researchers have examined the initial trial of a smartphone application designed to help people manage their problems.

Lead researcher of the study, Professor Peter Kinderman, said: “This type of therapy cannot remove problems, but it can help people deal with them in a more positive way. It is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle.

“Our research examined the uptake and usage rates of this application along with the faithfulness of user responses to CBT principles and their impact on reported negative and positive moods.”

“There were statistically significant reductions in negative mood intensity and increases in positive mood intensity.

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