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Br J Psychiatry. 2005 Nov;187:456-61.

Internet-based self-help for depression: randomised controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of Behavioural Sciences, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden. Gerhard.Andersson@ibv.liu.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Major depression can be treated by means of cognitive-behavioural therapy, but as skilled therapists are in short supply there is a need for self-help approaches. Many individuals with depression use the internet for discussion of symptoms and to share their experience.

AIMS:

To investigate the effects of an internet-administered self-help programme including participation in a monitored, web-based discussion group, compared with participation in web-based discussion group only.

METHOD:

A randomised controlled trial was conducted to compare the effects of internet-based cognitive-behavioural therapy with minimal therapist contact (plus participation in a discussion group) with the effects of participation in a discussion group only.

RESULTS:

Internet-based therapy with minimal therapist contact, combined with activity in a discussion group, resulted in greater reductions of depressive symptoms compared with activity in a discussion group only (waiting-list control group). At 6 months' follow-up, improvement was maintained to a large extent.

CONCLUSIONS:

Internet-delivered cognitive cognitive-behavioural therapy should be pursued further as a complement or treatment alternative for mild-to-moderate depression.

PMID:
16260822
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.187.5.456
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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