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  1. Internet-based CBT works for depression, phobias, anxiety

EXPERT ANALYSIS FROM THE 164th ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION. HONOLULU. May 14-18 2011. by Sherry Boschert

 

Internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy could cure half of patients with internalizing mental disorders, including depression, social phobia, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder, a review of data suggests.

 

Internalizing disorders account for half of mental disorders, Dr. Gavin P. Andrews said at the meeting.

"A quarter of the burden of mental disorders is potentially removable by Internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy" (CBT), said Dr. Andrews, professor of psychiatry at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. "If our profession could get a handle on effective treatment for internalizing disorders, we'd make a fundamental move forward."

 

Internet-based CBT is a program whereby the patient is in e-mail contact with the person directing the therapy, which consists of psychoeducation and exercises completed online. Dr. Andrews and his associates conducted a review of the literature and meta-analysis of data from 22 studies of Internet-based CBT involving 1 (746 patients. The effect-size superiority over comparison groups was larger than the effect-size superiority traditionally seen for treatment of anxiety disorders with face-to-face CBT or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), compared with control groups, he said.

 

For each disorder (depression, social phobia, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder), the number needed to treat with Internet-based CBT to show an effect was two (PLoS One 20l0;5:el3196).

 

"Treat two people and one gets better. This is powerful treatment in psychiatry. It's powerful treatment in medicine," said Dr. Andrews, a member of the Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum, Posttraumatic and Dissociative Disorders Work Group for the DSM-5.

 

The effects of Internet-based CBT appear to last, he added. Although the median follow-up time in the studies was 6 months, some Swedish studies had 18-month follow-up data.

 

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb4365/is_11_44/ai_n57864209/?tag=content;col1

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