STOCKHOLM, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Internet is as effective for treating mild and moderate depression as traditional face-to-face therapy, researchers at the University of Gothenburg said Monday in a statement about their findings from a study on the subject.
The study followed two groups of patients. One group was given Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) through internet, with some backup support from psychologists and therapists. Patients in the other group met with psychologists and therapists for traditional therapy without using internet.
According to Marie Kivi, a psychologist from the university who worked on the study, "internet therapy for depression works just as well as the treatment that is currently being offered."
Patients using internet therapy went through seven treatment stages, and did a series of written assignments at home. They also received support from psychologists and therapists at district health centers.
Cecilia Bjorkelund, a researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy, the university's health care college, said that in addition to being as effective as regular therapy, the internet system can help treat more patients with depression more quickly. There are not enough CBT psychologists and therapists in Sweden to deal with the number of people who need CBT.
In addition, patients using internet therapy can go through treatment on their own schedule rather than having to go to health centers.
The Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Healthcare has said that 4 to 10 percent of the adult Swedish population at any given time is suffering from depression and is in need of therapy.