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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Study: Internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Shows Promise for PTSD Treatment

From HealthDay News:

Internet-based cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) shows promise, according to a pilot study in the November issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry.

The study found that 25 percent of U.S. military personnel assigned to an Internet-based, eight-week program of self-management CBT no longer had PTSD diagnosis after treatment or at six-month follow-up, compared to 5 percent after treatment and 3 percent at six-month follow-up for those assigned to regular supportive counseling. ...

CBT helps patients process traumatic memories therapeutically, understand and manage symptoms, and correct unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. While CBT is effective, it requires substantial training and expertise to administer, according to background information in the study.

These findings suggest that rapid online delivery of effective CBT treatment for PTSD could be expanded to a large population.

"We felt that the Web-based treatment was highly innovative and particularly well-suited for groups of people who have experienced a single highly traumatic event and want to resume their normal life as quickly as possible," Robert Freedman, editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry, said in a prepared statement.

In educational interest, article(s) quoted from extensively.

Pros and cons of web-based CBT:

Advantages of Internet based CBT
1. anonymity
2. accessibility
3. avoiding the stigma of visiting a psychiatrist
4. treatment at any time and place
5. work at your own pace
6. review the material as often as as desired
7. reduction of therapist time
8. reach people through the Internet who might otherwise not receive treatment

Disadvantages of Internet based CBT
1. No control on using the intervention
2. treatment sessions can be postponed infinitely
3. really on your own
4. can seem quite impersonal to participants

Levels of therapist involvement
1. no assistance
2. contact by e-mail or telephone
3. face to face contact between sessions

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