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Cogn Behav Ther. 2009;38(4):235-46. doi: 10.1080/16506070802561256.

The acceptability of computer-aided cognitive behavioural therapy: a pragmatic study.

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Department of Clinical Psychology, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK.


The clinical and cost-effectiveness of a computer-aided cognitive behavioural therapy (CCBT) programme, Beating the Blues, is indicated by a number of studies, but relatively little is known about its acceptability for patients with depression, anxiety, or both. This study investigated the acceptability of Beating the Blues offered on eight scheduled clinic visits with brief face-to-face support. Pre and posttreatment measures explored the relationship among programme acceptability, treatment continuation, and outcomes for people accessing the programme in routine care. Two hundred and nineteen patients with depression, anxiety, or both were offered Beating the Blues in 11 primary and secondary care practices. One hundred and ninety-one (87%) completed the pretreatment measures and 84 (38%) completed a treatment feedback questionnaire. Analysis of treatment acceptability for CCBT indicated a positive patient experience with the programme. Pretreatment expectancies predicted CCBT treatment completion but not outcomes. No differences were found between men and women on pretreatment measures. Posttreatment, women reported more favourable responses to the therapy, finding the programme more helpful and more satisfactory, than did men. No relationship between treatment acceptability and age was found. Study limitations, including research methods and attrition rates, and implications for future research are discussed. It is concluded that the Beating the Blues CCBT programme is an acceptable treatment for common mental health problems in routine care.

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