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Behav Cogn Psychother. 2013 Jul;41(4):383-97. doi: 10.1017/S1352465813000404. Epub 2013 May 16.

Internet-delivered cognitive therapy for social anxiety disorder: a development pilot series.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Randomized controlled trials have established that individual cognitive therapy based on the Clark and Wells (1995) model is an effective treatment for social anxiety disorder that is superior to a range of alternative psychological and pharmacological interventions. Normally the treatment involves up to 14 weekly face-to-face therapy sessions.

AIM:

To develop an internet based version of the treatment that requires less therapist time.

METHOD:

An internet-delivered version of cognitive therapy (iCT) for social anxiety disorder is described. The internet-version implements all key features of the face-to-face treatment; including video feedback, attention training, behavioural experiments, and memory focused techniques. Therapist support is via a built-in secure messaging system and by brief telephone calls. A cohort of 11 patients meeting DSM-IV criteria for social anxiety disorder worked through the programme and were assessed at pretreatment and posttreatment.

RESULTS:

No patients dropped out. Improvements in social anxiety and related process variables were within the range of those observed in randomized controlled trials of face-to-face CT. Nine patients (82%) were classified as treatment responders and seven (64%) achieved remission status. Therapist time per patient was only 20% of that in face-to-face CT.

CONCLUSIONS:

iCT shows promise as a way of reducing therapist time without compromising efficacy. Further evaluation of iCT is ongoing.

PMID:
23676553
PMCID:
PMC3695729
DOI:
10.1017/S1352465813000404
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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