Universal and targeted computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (Think, Feel, Do) for emotional health in schools: results from two exploratory studies

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Abstract

Background:  Computerised Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (cCBT) offers the potential to make evidence based interventions more available and accessible for children and young people. Research is currently limited and proof of concept studies are required to explore the viability and possible therapeutic benefits of cCBT as a universal or targeted intervention in schools.

Method:  In Study 1, cCBT was provided as a universal intervention to 13 participants who were assigned to either group cCBT or a matched computer gaming condition. In Study 2, cCBT was provided as a targeted intervention by trained school nurses to 12 participants with mild or moderate emotional problems.

Results:  Both studies found cCBT to result in immediate post intervention benefits and feedback about the programme was very positive.

Conclusion:  This study provides proof of concept that cCBT provided as a universal or targeted emotional health intervention in schools is viable and may result in immediate therapeutic benefits. These findings are limited by the small sample size and absence of follow-up but suggest that more methodologically robust evaluations should be pursued.

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