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Online cognitive behavioural therapy is effective for depression in primary care

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Question

Question:

Is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) delivered online in real time by a therapist effective for patients with depression in primary care?

Patients:

297 individuals with a score of ≥14 on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and confirmed diagnosis of a new episode of depression within 4 weeks preceding referral. Individuals were from 55 general practices in Bristol, London and Warwickshire. Patients treated for depression in the 3 months before the present episode, patients with a history of bipolar disorder, alcohol or substance misuse and those already receiving psychotherapy were excluded.

Setting:

Universities of Bristol and Warwick and the Department of Mental Health Sciences, Royal Free Campus London, UK. Recruitment took place between October 2005 and February 2008.

Intervention:

Usual care from general practitioner (GP) with or without ten 55-min sessions of online CBT (with a therapist online in real time) to be completed within 16 weeks of randomisation where possible.

Outcomes:

Primary: Recovery from depression 4 months after randomisation as assessed by BDI, where a score <10 represented recovery; secondary: 8-month BDI score (analysed …

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