Monday, November 21, 2005

Treatment For Depression On The Net?

A new study has found that depression treated on the internet is as effective as in person sessions with a therapist. Researchers say those with depression doing self help sessions reported similar improvement to those seen in previous studies of patients who go to clinical environments. These findings could be valuable to sufferers in rural and remote areas who have difficulty accessing therapists.
In a study, published by Swedish scientists in the British Journal of Psychiatry, gives credence to the vast majority of self help courses offered online for years. One study examined 177 Swedes suffering from mild to moderate depression. One group underwent an internet therapy treatment while a second group received no formal treatment. They found that those receiving internet therapy reported decreased depressive symptoms immediately after treatment and at a six month follow up. Benefits also included anxiety relief and a better quality of life. They concluded that it is a proven form of treatment for mild depression.
Researchers however expressed concern over the high drop out rate, which was 37 percent, of those receiving internet treatment. Anita Abrams, a clinical psychologist, said that quite a few had to be excluded when it became clear they required treatment at a more personal level. But she feels that anything that reaches out to people may help save a life and it's worth persisting.

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