Computer-aided CBT self-help for anxiety and depressive disorders: Experience of a London clinic and future directions

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Abstract

This article describes a broad-spectrum, computer-aided self-help clinic that raised the throughput of anxious/depressed patients per clinician and lowered per-patient time with a clinician without impairing effectiveness. Many sufferers improved by using one of four computer-aided systems of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) self-help for phobia/panic, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and general anxiety. The systems are accessible at home, two by phone and two by the Web. Initial brief screening by a clinician can be done by phone, and if patients get stuck they can obtain brief live advice from a therapist on a phone helpline. Such clinician-extender systems offer hope for enhancing the convenience and confidentiality of guided self-help, reducing the per-patient cost of CBT, and lessening stigma. The case examples illustrate the clinical process and outcomes of the computer-aided system. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol/In Session.

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