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Therapy for depression can work over the phone

By Kerry Grens

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Patients with depression are more likely to stick with a type of talk therapy when it’s given over the phone, compared to traditional, face-to-face settings, according to a new study.

“This is very encouraging and suggests that the telephone can be an effective medium to communicate with clients during (cognitive behavioral therapy),” said Stefan Hofmann, a psychology professor at Boston University, who was not involved in this study.

However, the results also show that while people might be less likely to drop out of telephone-based therapy, this approach may be slightly less helpful than office-based treatments.

“Apparently, there is an advantage of doing therapy face-to-face, but the reason is not clear,” Hofmann added in an email to Reuters Health.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is an approach to psychotherapy that tries to change the thoughts and attitudes leading to a person’s condition.

David Mohr, the lead author of the study and a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said that many people want therapy as part of their depression treatment, but “one of the things we’ve found over the years is that it’s very difficult for people with depression to access psychotherapy.”

In addition to the expense, if health insurance doesn’t cover it completely, therapy requires a time commitment — sometimes an hour or more a week for months — that is a challenge for people to meet.

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/JjFzqx Journal of the American Medical Association, online June 6, 2012.

See on mobile.reuters.com

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This entry was posted on June 6, 2012 by in Depression, Science.
Lutz Siemer

Lutz Siemer

Education, Research & Development in Social Work & IT After working as an alternative practitioner and psychotherapist in private practice for nearly ten years I stepped over to higher education in 2005. At Saxion University of Applied Sciences I lecture and do research and development in the area of Social Work, Psychology and IT. Currently I'm focussing on merging mobile technology and social work.

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