Depression: guided internet therapy brings substantial improvement

  • Karyotaki E & al.
  • Clin Psychol Rev
  • 19 Jun 2018

  • curated by Jim Kling
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Among patients with depression, response and remission rates are higher among patients treated with minimally guided internet-based interventions compared with control patients, according to this meta-analysis.
  • Minimal guidance was defined as being provided infrequently through electronic means, such as emails, phone calls, and e-chats after an online session.
  • Outcomes were better among native-born participants than among ethnic minorities.

Why this matters

  • Internet-based treatments could overcome barriers to accessibility.

Study design

  • Meta-analysis of 24 randomized control trials included a total of 4889 patients with depression (internet-based intervention group, n=2514; control group, n=2375).
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • Significantly higher response (OR, 2.49; P<.001 and remission p rates in the intervention vs control group.>
  • Response was better among older vs younger adults (OR, 1.01; P=.03) and among native-born vs ethnic minority participants (OR, 1.66; P=.02).
  • Age (OR, 1.01; P=.02), ethnicity (OR, 1.73; P=.03), and baseline depression severity (OR, 1.19; P=.04) also moderated the effects of remission.

Limitations 

  • Limited generalizability of findings.

Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm

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