DOES WEB-BASED PSYCHOTHERAPY WORK?
Web-based psychotherapy, also known as online therapy, has become an increasingly popular option over the course of the last decade. The convenience of this option is indisputable, but what about the effectiveness? A new study out of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom attempts to answer this question.
The study followed 300 British people diagnosed with depression, and randomly assigned some participants to a web-based cognitive behavioral therapy program. The control group was assigned others to a “waiting list” for the program and were told to continue their usual pattern of care. After four months, 38% of patients in the web-based program reported recovering from depression compared to only 24% of the control group. After eight months, those numbers had risen to 42% and 26%, respectively.
The web-based program consisted of 10 weekly sessions, 55 minutes in length, that primarily relied on text messaging. The researchers posit that some patients may have an easier time expressing themselves through writing, leading to the higher rates of success. As the first study to specifically focus on the use of cognitive behavioral therapy in a web-based program, they are encouraged the promising results.
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