Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, delivered as a Videogame, Can Help Lower Anxiety and Depression

Young Depres­sive Patients Respond To Com­put­er Ther­a­py (Med­ical News Today):

- “Depres­sion is com­mon in ado­les­cents, although many are reluc­tant to seek pro­fes­sion­al help. Accord­ing to a study pub­lished in BMJ, spe­cial­ized com­put­er ther­a­py is just as effec­tive as one-to-one ther­a­py with a clin­i­cian for ado­les­cents suf­fer­ing from depression.”
— “In order to deter­mine whether a new com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive behav­ioral ther­a­py inter­ven­tion called SPARX is as effec­tive at reduc­ing depres­sive symp­toms than usu­al care, researchers from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Auck­land, New Zealand con­duct­ed a ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­al involv­ing 187 ado­les­cents aged 12 to 19 years.”
— “The researchers found that SPARX reduced symp­toms of depres­sion and anx­i­ety by at least a third, mak­ing it just as effec­tive as usu­al care. Fur­ther­more, 31 (44%) out of the 69 par­tic­i­pants who com­plet­ed at least 4 home­work mod­ules in the SPARX group com­plete­ly recov­ered, com­pared with only 26% (19/83) assigned to usu­al care.”

Study: “The effec­tive­ness of SPARX, a com­put­erised self help inter­ven­tion for ado­les­cents seek­ing help for depres­sion: ran­domised con­trolled non-infe­ri­or­i­ty tri­al” (BMJ):

From the Abstract:

  • Out­comes: The pri­ma­ry out­come was the change in score on the children’s depres­sion rat­ing scale-revised. Sec­ondary out­comes includ­ed response and remis­sion on the children’s depres­sion rat­ing scale-revised, change scores on the Reynolds ado­les­cent depres­sion scale-sec­ond edi­tion, the mood and feel­ings ques­tion­naire, the Kazdin hope­less­ness scale for chil­dren, the Spence children’s anx­i­ety scale, the pae­di­atric qual­i­ty of life enjoy­ment and sat­is­fac­tion ques­tion­naire, and over­all sat­is­fac­tion with treat­ment ratings.
  • Con­clu­sions: SPARX is a poten­tial alter­na­tive to usu­al care for ado­les­cents pre­sent­ing with depres­sive symp­toms in pri­ma­ry care set­tings and could be used to address some of the unmet demand for treatment.

To Learn More:


  1. Caden Dahl on January 24, 2019 at 10:15

    It’s inter­est­ing to see how peo­ple respond to com­put­er ther­a­py. I think that this will become more wide­spread since more and more peo­ple use com­put­ers. If any­thing, I’d just be sure to go to a professional.

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SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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