Navigation Links
Web-Based Psychotherapy Can Work
Date:8/20/2009

Finding could help bring treatment to thousands who need it, experts say

THURSDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Online psychotherapy with patient and therapist texting each other in real-time can be effective, potentially giving thousands or even millions of patients new access to much-needed treatment, researchers say.

The new study adds to a growing body of research and practice involving technology-based treatments for depression and other mental health issues. In this case, the specific type of therapy used was cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

"There is a role for this, it's exciting," said one expert, Dr. Kathryn J. Kotrla, chairwoman and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. "CBT is tremendously underutilized."

This and other computer-based treatment could benefit people in rural or remote areas who need psychotherapy, including traumatized veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cognitive therapy "is proven [effective] for trauma-related issues," said Kotrla, who is also associate dean of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Round Rock campus. And providing it online means that "it's discreet, it's time-related. It avoids the issue of stigma," she said.

The new findings, by a team at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, are published Aug. 22 in a special Global Mental Health edition of the journal The Lancet.

According to an accompanying commentary article, prescription rates for antidepressant medications have soared over the past two decades, alongside a decline in the number of people receiving in-person psychotherapy.

Meanwhile, the commentary states, a good proportion of people for whom therapy is recommended never show up and half of those who do show up don't last through to the fourth appointment.

So, "people are looking at different ways of delivering psychotherapy other than the traditional go-to-the-therapist's-office-and-meet-for-50-minutes," said Dr. Gregory E. Simon, co-author of the commentary and a psychiatrist and researcher with Group Health Cooperative in Seattle. "On the far extreme are completely computerized or completely automated programs that don't have to have a human being involved. On the other end, people may communicate with a therapist through a Web site or telephone but there's a real live therapist there they're communicating with."

For this study, nearly 300 British patients with depression were randomly assigned to receive online CBT or were put on an eight-month waiting list for online CBT while they received usual care from their general practitioner.

The online therapy, which consisted of 10 weekly 55-minute sessions, essentially involved instant messages back and forth. About two-thirds of participants "showed up" for five or more sessions.

After four months of follow-up, 38 percent of patients in the CBT group recovered from depression compared with 24 percent in the control group, the study found.

At eight months, recovery rates were 42 percent in the intervention group and 26 percent in the control group, the researchers found. That's an improvement on recovery rates seen in conventional therapy.

The authors hypothesized that the heightened success rate might be due to the fact that people are writing rather than speaking their feelings and thoughts. "This approach could enhance metacognitive awareness, a term applied to changing the patient's relationship with negative thoughts and feelings, rather than changing their belief in the content of the negative thoughts," they wrote in the report.

Virtual therapy sessions with a real person do not save much in costs (except for gas) and there may be a trade-off in terms of quality of communication. But the real benefits come in access and convenience, experts said.

"When you make the therapy much more convenient, people will be more likely to stick with it," Simon said. "I don't think anyone would argue that you don't lose something. Communicating in person is richer and communication over phone is richer than just typing text, but balance that with convenience and the person is more likely to stick with it . . . You may be reaching people you wouldn't reach otherwise."

More information

There's more on CBT at the National Alliance on Mental Illness.



SOURCES: Gregory E. Simon, M.D., psychiatrist and researcher, Group Health Cooperative, Seattle; Kathryn J. Kotrla, M.D., chairman and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and dean, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Round Rock campus; Aug. 22, 2009, The Lancet


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Web-Based Stress Therapy Shows Promise for Vets
2. Venture Health Group Selects Planet DDS Web-based Practice Management Software
3. Baxa Corporation Signs Strategic Reseller Agreement With MedKeeper for Web-Based Productivity Tool
4. Health and Technology Leaders Tackle Challenge of Managing Consumers Identities in Web-Based Personal Health Tools
5. Partners Center for Connected Health and EMC Corporation Launch New Web-Based Remote Monitoring Program to Help Employees Fight Hypertension
6. Launch of Web-based tool to predict risk of bone fracture
7. HAP Offers Web-Based Support for Depression and Bipolar Disorder
8. The Quantum Group Announces Web-Based Portal for Physicians
9. Elekta Launches Web-based Virtual Clinic, Offers Better Understanding of Radiotherapy Solutions for the Treatment of Cancer
10. Wake Forest Class Taps Recordant for Web-Based Search and Playback of Course Materials
11. Tx Xchange Launches Web-Based Solution for Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Providers to Address Demands of Healthcare Consumerism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Web-Based Psychotherapy Can Work
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids ... sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited ... all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and the ... published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six children, ... in the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier pilot, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ), ... of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides ... while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP ... the recipient of a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare ... City on October 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... BALTIMORE (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... average of $3,296 in property taxes a year. In some states—like New York, ... higher. , By contrast, many overseas retirement havens have extremely low property-tax rates, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, ... 8th Day Software and Consulting, LLC , and named ... 8th Day Software, based in Tennessee , ... 8th Day expands EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health care ... "In an interoperable ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC), will ... and webcast on Friday, November 3, 2017, beginning at ... at approximately 8:30 a.m. (CDT) / 9:30 a.m. (EDT). ... financial performance and guidance for 2018, Hill-Rom executives will ... operational performance, and long-range financial outlook through 2020. ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a leader in the ... today announced the launch of EpiVax Oncology Inc., ... therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has provided $500,000 in ... enabling technologies to the new precision immunotherapy venture. ... Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. Gad brings over ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: