Guided internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy for mild and moderate depression: a benchmarking study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternet Interventions. 2017, 7, 1-8. 10.1016/j.invent.2016.11.002
Major depression is among the most common and debilitating disorders worldwide, associated with large societal and individual costs. Effective treatments exist, but accessibility is scarce. Guided Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (guided iCBT) is a promising approach to reach more people in need of help. In the present pilot study, we investigated the outcome of a guided iCBT program for mild and moderate depression when disseminated from Sweden to Norway. The guided iCBT intervention was implemented within a university-based outpatient clinic by six student therapists under supervision. Twenty-two participants with mild and moderate depression were included in the study. Large treatment effects were found for depressive symptoms, whereas small to medium effects were observed for anxiety symptoms. More than half (55%) of the participants were classified as recovered at post-treatment and more than a third (41%) at follow-up. No participants had a significant deterioration from pre- to post-treatment, but two reported a significant deterioration from post-treatment to 6-month follow-up. Benchmarking the present results against those reported in the four original Swedish studies, we found that the treatment effect in the Norwegian study was slightly higher at post-treatment and slightly lower at 6-month follow-up compared to the outcome in the Swedish studies. The results should be interpreted with caution, as our sample was small and had no control group.