The effects of internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, for depression can oftentimes be seen as just as effective when compared to traditional CBT. This is clear coming from an international study which involved scientists at the University of Gothenburg. There were, however, some online treatment components that were found to be potentially harmful.
Internet CBT on Depression Patients
Internet CBT has started to become popular as a method of delivering treatment. According to ScienceDaily, it has still remained unclear to date which particular parts of the treatment are very effective, less effective, and also potentially detrimental to depression patients. Previous studies, however, have found a relation to smartphone use and depression.
An international study from the University of Gothenburg had the researchers participate in the systematic literature review as well as meta-analysis. The study was based on 76 randomized controlled trials or RCTs in Sweden as well as elsewhere. In total, there were 17,521 RCTs and 71% of them were women.
Cecilia Björkelund Gives Statement
The study is under the aegis of Kyoto University over in Japan and is now officially published in The Lancet Psychiatry. One particular coauthor is known as Cecilia Björkelund who is the Senior Professor of Family Medicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy of the University of Gothenburg.
According to Cecilia, in either the mild or moderate depression, iCBT effects is reportedly as good as when it comes to conventional CBT. For a number of people, it is a "superb way" for them to get access to therapy even without having to go directly to a therapist. It was also noted that it was good for the elderly which was a finding which they did not entirely expect initially.
Like traditional CBT, it was noted that its online counterpart also involves modifying the patient's feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that are pointed out to be the obstacles in their lives and even reportedly impair their mood. During this treatment, which can often last even up to ten weeks, they are given tasks and exercises to perform all on their own.
The factor that has reportedly proved to be most significant when it came to the prognosis was actually the depth of depression during the start of the treatment. It was noted that in milder depression, they were able to obtain better results.
iCBT in Health Care
It was noted that therapists support as well as text-message reminders were able to increase the proportion of patients that have been able to complete the therapy. Social media has also previously been linked to depression.
Cecilia noted that for those using the iCBT in health care, the programs have to become regulated just like how drugs are, but that is still not the case as of today. It was noted that with the study, they are taking a step forward. Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy has reportedly been around for a while as seen in a study on NCBI.
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Written by Urian B.