Internet-Based CBT Effective for Depressive Symptoms

Self-guided internet-based CBT significantly more effective for symptom severity, tx response


FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Self-guided internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT) is effective for treating adults with depressive symptoms, according to a review published online Feb. 22 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Eirini Karyotaki, from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to estimate the effect of self-guided iCBT in treating adults with depressive symptoms versus controls. Individual participant data were included for 3,876 participants from 13 of 16 eligible randomized clinical trials in which self-guided iCBT was compared with a control (usual care, waiting list, or attention control); multiple imputations were used to handle missing data.

The researchers found that, compared with controls, self-guided iCBT was more effective for depressive symptom severity (β = −0.21; Hedges g = 0.27) and treatment response (β = 0.53; odds ratio, 1.95; number needed to treat, 8). There were significant correlations for adherence to treatment with lower depressive symptoms (β = −0.19; P = 0.001) and greater response to treatment (β = 0.90; P < 0.001). Treatment outcomes were not moderated by the examined participant or study-level variables.

"The use of meta-analyses of individual participant data provides substantial evidence for clinical and policy decision making because self-guided iCBT can be considered as an evidence-based first-step approach in treating symptoms of depression," the authors write.

One author received funding from the pharmaceutical and publishing industries.

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