Web Based Psychotherapy for Depression

by Medindia Content Team on  November 3, 2005 at 8:50 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Web Based Psychotherapy for Depression
Professor Gerhard Andersson, from Linköping University has reported that using Internet web based Psychology self-help therapy to patients with depression is very much effective in treating patients with depression. Researchers have found that the new web based program is as good as treatment results offered during out patient doctor consultation. The results of the research were published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

The study was conducted in 117 patients with mild to moderate depression and the program consisted of 89 pages of text divided into five modules that were estimated to take eight weeks to complete. The great pit fall of the program was the increased number of recruits who withdrew from the study almost half of the patients withdrew their consent in participating in the program as they felt that the program was too exhaustive and it had too much of work to be done. The remaining recruits were very happy of the web-based therapy and they showed a significant improvement with a decrease in their depression symptoms.

Experts View: Lead researcher Professor Gerhard Andersson, from Linköping University said, "Benefits were also observed regarding anxiety symptoms and quality of life, Self-help treatment of depression is an attractive treatment option and internet-based therapy options should be pursued further as a complement or alternative to conventional treatment methods".

Dr Peter Haywood, clinical psychologist, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust said, "Self-help materials can be extremely helpful. Obviously it will not work for everybody and there is a shortage of trained CBT therapists so this self-help approach might be useful for some people as well established self-help books that many people have found beneficial, so there are all kinds of ways self-help can be made available."

Richard Brook, chief executive of Mind said, "Computer-delivered CBT is an important addition to the range of treatment options available for people experiencing depression and this method of delivery is useful for people who might not be able to access CBT easily because of their remote location, or for people who find it difficult to speak 'one-to-one' about their depression. But, caution should be taken while using this internet psychotherapy as it would not be so effective in all the patients and it should not be used as a reason to evade training enough therapists so that people experiencing mental health problems can access the treatments they need when they need them."

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