Delivering interventions for depression by using the internet.
In an ongoing assessment of web-based interventions designed to help people suffering from depression, Australian National University researcher, Helen Christensen and her team compared two internet interventions - one, a psychoeducation website offering information about depression, and the other, an interactive website offering cognitive behavior therapy at the screen.
Internet users in Canberra (n = 525) with increased depressive symptoms were randomly assigned to either the informational website, (BluePages, http://bluepages.anu.edu.au) (n = 166) or a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) website (MoodGYM, http://moodgym.anu.edu.au) (n = 182) or a control group (n = 178) that received an attention placebo - weekly contact from a lay interviewer to discuss lifestyle factors such as exercise, education, and health habits.
The study concludes that both cognitive behaviour therapy and psychoeducation delivered via the internet are effective in reducing symptoms of depression. There are plans for further follow-up at 12 months.
Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award