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Computer-aided psychotherapy: revolution or bubble?

  • I. M. Marks (a1), K. Cavanagh (a2) and L. Gega (a3)
Summary

Research into computer-aided psychotherapy is thriving around the world. Most of it concerns computer-aided cognitive–behavioural therapy (CCBT). A recent narrative review found 97 computer-aided psychotherapy systems from nine countries reported in 175 studies, of which 103 were randomised controlled trials. The rapid spread of the mass delivery of psychotherapy through CCBT, catalysed in the UK by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's recommendation of two CCBT programmes and the Department of Health's CCBT implementation guidance, seems unprecedented. This editorial is a synopsis of the current status of CCBT and its future directions.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
I. M. Marks, 43 Dulwich Common, London SE21 7EU. Email: i.marks@iop.kcl.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

I.M.M. shares intellectual property rights in Fear Fighter and OCFighter. K.C. is an occasional consultant to CCBT Ltd and Ultrasis plc.

Footnotes
References
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Christensen, H., Griffiths, K. M., Korten, A., et al (2004a) Comparison of changes in anxiety and depression symptoms of spontaneous users and trial participants of a CBT website. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 6, 46.
Christensen, H., Griffiths, K. M. & Jorm, A. F. (2004b) Delivering interventions for depression by using the internet: randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 328, 265269.
Department of Health (2007) Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Programme: Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (cCBT) Implementation Guidance. UK Department of Health.
Eysenbach, G. (2005) The law of attrition. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 7, 11.
Farvolden, P., Denissof, E., Selby, P., et al (2005) Usage and longitudinal effectiveness of a web-based self-help CBT behavioural therapy program for panic disorder. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 7, 7.
Kenwright, M., Marks, I. M., Graham, C., et al (2005) Brief scheduled phone support from a clinician to enhance computer-aided self help for OCD: RCT. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61, 14991508.
Lange, A., Rietdijk, D., Hudcovicova, M., et al (2003) Interapy: RCT of the standardized treatment of posttraumatic stress through the internet. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71, 901909.
Marks, I. M., Shaw, S. C. & Parkin, R. (1998) Computer-aided treatments of mental health problems. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 5, 151170.
Marks, I. M., Cavanagh, K. & Gega, L. (2007) Hands-on Help: Computer-aided Psychotherapy. Psychology Press.
National Institute for Clinical Excellence (2002) Guidance on the Use of Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Anxiety and Depression. Technology Appraisal 51. NICE.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2006a) Guidance on the Use of Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Anxiety and Depression. Technology Appraisal 97. NICE.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2006b) Appraisal of Computerised Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CCBT) for Depression and Anxiety: Decision of Panel. NICE.
Rothbaum, B. O., Hodges, L., Ready, D., et al (2001) Virtual reality exposure therapy for Vietnam veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 62, 617622.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Computer-aided psychotherapy: revolution or bubble?

  • I. M. Marks (a1), K. Cavanagh (a2) and L. Gega (a3)
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