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Br J Psychiatry. 2007 Feb;190:123-8.

Treatment of social phobia: randomised trial of internet-delivered cognitive-behavioural therapy with telephone support.

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  • 1Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden. per.carlbring@ibv.liu.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although effective therapies for social phobia exist, many individuals refrain from seeking treatment owing to the embarrassment associated with help-seeking. Internet-based cognitive-behavioural self-help can be an alternative, but adherence is a problem.

AIMS:

To evaluate a 9-week programme of internet-based therapy designed to increase treatment adherence by the addition of short weekly telephone calls, nine in all, with a total duration of 95 min.

METHOD:

In a randomised controlled trial the effects of internet-based cognitive-behavioural therapy in the treatment group (n=29) were compared with a waiting-list control group (n=28).

RESULTS:

Compared with the control group the treated participants experienced greater reductions on measures of general and social anxiety, avoidance and depression. Adherence to treatment was high, with 93% finishing the complete treatment package. One year later all improvements were maintained.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study provides evidence to support the use of internet-based treatment supplemented by short, weekly telephone calls.

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