Online cognitive behavioral therapy found more effective than usual primary care for anxiety patients

Online computerized cognitive behavioral therapy has shown to be more effective than normal primary care for depression and anxiety patients, according to new research published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Among 704 patients randomized to CCBT and Internet support groups, CCBT alone, or usual care with their primary care physicians, patients in the CCBT+ISG and CCBT alone cohorts reported similar improvements in mental health–related quality of life, mood, and anxiety symptoms, while patients in the CCBT alone cohort reported greater improvements in mood and anxiety than usual care.

"In summary, although our [Internet support groups] did not produce any measurable benefit over CCBT alone, providing online [computerized cognitive behavioral therapy] to patients with depression and anxiety receiving primary care via a centralized collaborative care program is an effective strategy for delivering mental healthcare at scale," wrote the study authors.

"Our study findings have important implications for transforming the way mental healthcare is delivered in primary care and focus further attention to the emerging field of e–mental health."

The study is the first randomized trial that evaluates the effectiveness of providing these technologies through a collaborative care program, which now has 26 practices in the Pittsburgh area.

Read the full study here

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