Weekly Mind Reader: Internet-Based CBT Shows Promise

by Staff Writer
March 22, 2024 at 10:26 AM UTC

The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders published a paper that suggests the use of trait mindfulness-based interventions might help reduce anxiety levels in students who present with severe problematic social media use.

The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders has published research that shows promising results in the use of internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Therapist-Guided Versus Self-Guided Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

A new systematic review has evaluated therapist-guided versus self-guided cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), leveraging applications and technological innovations for mental health treatment. Researchers analyzed six randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that demonstrated positive outcomes favoring the use of applications and internet-based therapy.

These findings suggest potential benefits for expanding the accessibility and scalability of psychological treatments, especially in addressing the global challenge of limited access to evidence-based psychological care.

Studies included various interventions, such as:

  • App-based CBT.
  • Virtual reality (VR) CBT for specific phobias.
  • Self-guided iCBT for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms.

The study results indicated efficacy and acceptability across different approaches, albeit with challenges such as poor adherence to iCBT apps.

Nonetheless, therapist-supported iCBT proved effective, comparable to face-to-face CBT, and superior to waiting list or control conditions.

While technological innovations offer promising avenues for mental health care delivery, further research is needed. This includes defining appropriate usage, measuring adherence, exploring treatment efficacy in real-world settings, and comparing iCBT with traditional treatments.

The review underscores the importance of tailored strategies and usage definitions to facilitate physicians’ use of technology-based therapy and improve patient care. Addressing barriers such as access to technology and emotional openness to new treatment formats is crucial for successful implementation.

Overall, leveraging the internet and technology as treatment support holds the potential to improve mental health care accessibility, given the widespread availability of smartphones.


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