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Review: computerised CBT improves adult depression in the short-term, but its effect may have been overestimated previously

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Question: Is computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (CCBT) effective in treating adult depression and improving functionality, and how do methodological limitations influence current findings?

Outcomes: Primary outcome: Depression symptoms, measured by reliable and standardised rating scales. Secondary outcome: Functionality, measured by a variety of scales. Attrition rate was also assessed. The outcome measures used are detailed in the supplementary table.


Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Data sources: MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, CENTRAL (Cochrane Library) and CiNii were searched to July 2011. The website was also searched.

Study selection and analysis: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing CCBT to control in depressed adults (≥18 years) in non-inpatient settings were included. Studies had to use proper allocation and concealment strategies and to have at least single blinding of outcome assessment. Standardised mean differences (SMDs) with 95% CIs were calculated for each outcome except for attrition, for which risk ratios were calculated. Heterogeneity was assessed using an SMD forest plot and the Q and I2 statistics. A random effects …

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  • Competing interests: None.