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Computerised CBT not effective for depression

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firemonkee57

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A new UK study reveals that computerized cognitive behavioral therapy (cCBT) is likely to be ineffective in the treatment of depression.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) delivered by a trained therapist is considered to be a highly effective “talking treatment” for depression.

Therapy availability, however, is often an issue. One alternative is the delivery of CBT via specially-designed computer programs which can be used to increase access.

To judge the effectiveness of computerized CBT, Professor Simon Gilbody from York University’s Department of Health Sciences and colleagues performed a large randomized control evaluation named the REEACT trial.

The trial, which included 691 patients with depression carefully selected from 83 general practices across England, is the largest to date to assess the effectiveness of cCBT when added to usual GP care.

Study results showed that cCBT offered little or no benefit over usual GP care with the findings published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Researchers discovered patients generally did not engage with computer programs on a sustained basis. They believe this highlights the difficulties of repeatedly logging on to computer systems when clinically depressed.

Computerized CBT Not Effective for Depression | Psych Central News
 
Toasted Crumpet

Toasted Crumpet

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This was my favourite comment on the Guardian about it:

"And in other news, people have been left stunned by the discovery that bears shit in woods, that the pope is indeed Catholic and that pigs don't have fully functioning wings (but do have rather alluring and cheekily seductive lips that some old etonians just can't resist)"
 
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TheRedStar

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Researchers discovered patients generally did not engage with computer programs on a sustained basis.
Ah, and therein lies the CBT evangelists' get-out - ultimately it's the patients' fault for 'not engaging' with the therapy, which always seems to be the conclusion when any form of CBT is unsuccessful. Because CBT is perfect... especially when the treatment is augmented by getting a job. Any job. Because work=happiness, don't you know? And if you don't believe that... well, it's a symptom of your 'flawed thinking', isn't it?
 
AppleCrumbles

AppleCrumbles

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Yeah I don't know why this wasn't realised sooner! The whole problem in depression is it's hard to motivate yourself to do anything - so if a depressed person is left to treat themselves with a computer of course it's not going to work. I think it only lasted so long because it's a cheap "treatment".
 
Toasted Crumpet

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Yeah I don't know why this wasn't realised sooner! The whole problem in depression is it's hard to motivate yourself to do anything - so if a depressed person is left to treat themselves with a computer of course it's not going to work. I think it only lasted so long because it's a cheap "treatment".
IMO it wouldn't work anyway even if the person was motivated, because the whole point with a lot of MH issues is that they are rooted in poor relationships when we were growing up and currently. One of the constants about why therapy works is the relationship between the person and their therapist, it's hard to have the same relationship with a computer, though I suppose some people might prefer it if they are wary of professionals or have social anxiety as well as depression.

I do think it is placing too much responsibility on the depressed individual to get themselves well. Whatever happened to support?
 
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