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Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2011 Mar;24(2):168-72. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3283438028.

Internet-delivered treatment to promote health.

Author information

1
Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden. Gerhard.Andersson@liu.se

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

The aim of this paper is to provide an updated review of recent controlled trials of Internet interventions for health conditions and how the Internet is used to promote health.

RECENT FINDINGS:

We identified 18 published trials including studies on diabetes, cancer, pain conditions, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, stress management, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, cerebral palsy, infertility, HIV infection, and fruit/vegetable consumption. Of the 18 trials, one-third targeted children and adolescents. Two cancer studies investigated the role of peer support in an online environment that failed to result in any major improvements. Overall, several trials did not result in any substantial significant improvements, but there are exceptions, such as treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, headache, and chronic pain. Although a few of the reviewed studies had sufficient sample sizes, the majority were small and underpowered. In particular, this was the case for the studies on children and adolescents.

SUMMARY:

This review suggests that Internet interventions hold some promise as a complement to other treatments such as cognitive behavior therapy. The benefits from participating in online peer support groups are not clear. Although studies on children and adolescents have emerged, there is a lack of studies on older adults with health problems.

PMID:
21285706
DOI:
10.1097/YCO.0b013e3283438028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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