From Science Daily:

Internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) combined with clinical care has been shown to benefit people with depression, anxiety and emotional distress from illness, according to an evidence-based review in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

“In the age of Google, this psychological intervention is empowering, clinically efficient and consistent with the way that, increasingly, patients interact with health care,” write Dr. David Gratzer, attending psychiatrist, and Faiza Khalid-Khan, social worker and Director of Mental Health, The Scarborough Hospital, Toronto, Ontario.

The review looks at recent, high quality studies and the growing body of literature on smartphone and tablet applications for mental illness. Some studies showed that patients who used Internet-delivered CBT had better outcomes than placebo controls and equal or better outcomes than those with traditional in-person cognitive behaviour therapy. These outcomes were seen in patients with depression, as well as those with physical illnesses such as cancer and multiple sclerosis.

“There is as much evidence for cognitive behavioural therapy as there is for medications to treat mild and moderate depression, as well as evidence that they have a synergistic effect,” says Dr. Gratzer. “In other words, for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians struggling with depression, Internet-assisted cognitive behavioural therapy offers a cost-effective and empowering way of accessing an important treatment.”

Patients may participate in online therapy whenever and wherever they like, which provides the anonymity that may help depressed or shy patients who are reluctant to speak to a health care professional.

“[Internet-delivered] CBT has two principal advantages: patient…

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