Tomlin, A. The Mental Elf Blog. Published online: 29 September 2016
NICE recommends a range of psychological and drug treatments for PTSD such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy, but does not recommend computer-based psychotherapies. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis from the Netherlands may persuade the guideline developers to think again.
The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the effectiveness of Internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) compared to inactive (waitlist control or treatment-as-usual) and active other interventions in reducing PTSD symptoms.
Overall, the results show that iCBT is superior to waitlist, with a trend suggesting that iCBT is more effective than active controls (e.g. psychoeducation and supportive counselling).
- iCBT compared to waitlist or treatment as usual (11 comparisons from 10 studies of 1,139 participants) found a moderate pooled effect size (g = 0.71, 95% CI 0.49 to 0.93, P < .001) with moderate heterogeneity
- iCBT compared to other interventions (3 comparisons from 3 studies) found a small pooled effect size (g = 0.28, 95% CI -0.00 to 0.56, P = .05) with low heterogeneity
The effects were strongest when iCBT interventions were therapist-assisted and longer than eight sessions. This echoes what we know from other web-based psychotherapy evidence.
When comparing iCBT to waitlist, visual inspection of the funnel plot and Egger’s test (P = .34) did not indicate the presence of publication bias.
Read the full overview here
Read the original research here