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Internet-based self-help for depression: randomised controlled trial

  • Gerhard Andersson (a1), Jan Bergström (a2), Fredrik Holländare (a3), Per Carlbring (a3), Viktor Kaldo (a3) and Lisa Ekselius (a3)...
Abstract
Background

Major depression can be treated by means of cognitive–behavioural therapy but as skilled therapists are in short supply there is a need for self-help approaches. Many individuals with depression use the internet for discussion of symptoms and to share their experience.

Aims

To investigate the effects of an internet-administered self-help programme including participation in a monitored, web-based discussion group, compared with participation in web-based discussion group only.

Method

A randomised controlled trial was conducted to compare the effects of internet-based cognitive–behavioural therapy with minimal therapist contact (plus participation in a discussion group) with the effects of participation in a discussion group only.

Results

Internet-based therapy with minimal therapist contact, combined with activity in a discussion group, resulted in greater reductions of depressive symptoms compared with activity in a discussion group only (waiting-list control group). At 6 months' follow-up, improvement was maintained to a large extent.

Conclusions

Internet-delivered cognitive–behavioural therapy should be pursued further as a complement or treatment alternative for mild-to-moderate depression.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor Gerhard Andersson, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden. Fax: +46 (0)13 28 21 45; e-mail: Gerhard.Andersson@ibv.liu.se
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
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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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Internet-based self-help for depression: randomised controlled trial

  • Gerhard Andersson (a1), Jan Bergström (a2), Fredrik Holländare (a3), Per Carlbring (a3), Viktor Kaldo (a3) and Lisa Ekselius (a3)...
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