Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Mobile cognitive therapies gain traction as first-line mental health intervention

thoughtjournalMen­tal health apps let you access ther­a­py from your smart­phone (New Sci­en­tist):

Lie down any­where that suits: the world is now your therapist’s couch. A wide range of apps now deliv­er men­tal-health care straight to your smart­phone.

With PTSD Coach, users can dis­creet­ly screen them­selves and learn more about the dis­or­der. Mood­notes keeps track of emo­tion­al swings and offers new per­spec­tives on a sit­u­a­tion. And on Talk­space, for a week­ly fee, users can anony­mous­ly text a ther­a­pist any time and receive a response with­in the next few hours.

Next week, anoth­er app in this vein debuts: TruReach Health, offer­ing free lessons in cog­ni­tive behav­iour­al ther­a­py, a treat­ment that teach­es peo­ple to recog­nise and alter neg­a­tive pat­terns in their thoughts or behav­iours.

I love psy­chol­o­gists. If every­one could go and see one, then we’d all be bet­ter off, but that’s just not pos­si­ble,” says Per­ron. “We’re giv­ing some­one a tool because, 99 times out of 100, they just don’t have access to face-to-face ther­a­py.”

Com­put­er-based ther­a­py may not be as out­landish as it may sound. In the UK, the Nation­al Insti­tute for Health and Care Excel­lence rec­om­mends cer­tain cog­ni­tive behav­iour­al ther­a­py pro­grams for peo­ple with mild to mod­er­ate depres­sion or pan­ic and pho­bia.”

–> To learn more about the tech­nol­o­gy appraisal by the Nation­al Insti­tute for Health and Care Excel­lenceCom­put­erised cog­ni­tive behav­iour ther­a­py for depres­sion and anx­i­ety: Review of Tech­nol­o­gy Appraisal 51. From the tech­nol­o­gy sec­tion (a bit out­dat­ed, but still a great ref­er­ence):

  • 3.1 CCBT is a gener­ic term that is used to refer to a num­ber of meth­ods of deliv­er­ing CBT via an inter­ac­tive com­put­er inter­face. It can be deliv­ered on a per­son­al com­put­er, over the Inter­net or via the tele­phone using inter­ac­tive voice response (IVR) sys­tems. As with CBT, pre-ther­a­py assess­ment is rec­om­mend­ed to ensure that peo­ple are suit­able for ther­a­py, and indi­vid­u­als require ongo­ing mon­i­tor­ing and sup­port. It is sug­gest­ed that a wide range of health or social care per­son­nel could be used to facil­i­tate the ses­sions. Sev­er­al CCBT pack­ages are cur­rent­ly avail­able. Each has been devel­oped for a spe­cif­ic tar­get group or groups and uses dif­fer­ent CBT algo­rithms. The per­son­nel required to imple­ment CCBT can vary from psy­chi­a­trist to prac­tice nurse and the length of ther­a­pist’s time will also vary depend­ing on the pro­gramme.
  • 3.2 Beat­ing the Blues (Ultra­sis plc) is a CBT-based pack­age for peo­ple with anx­i­ety and/or depres­sion. It con­sists of a 15-minute intro­duc­to­ry video and eight 1‑hour inter­ac­tive com­put­er ses­sions. The ses­sions are usu­al­ly at week­ly inter­vals and are com­plet­ed in the rou­tine care set­ting (that is, GP prac­tice). Home­work projects are com­plet­ed between ses­sions and week­ly progress reports are deliv­ered to the GP or oth­er health­care pro­fes­sion­al at the end of each ses­sion. These progress reports include anx­i­ety and depres­sion rat­ings and report­ed sui­ci­dal­i­ty. No min­i­mum read­ing age is spec­i­fied.
  • 3.3 COPE (ST Solu­tions Ltd) is a CBT-based sys­tem designed to help peo­ple with non-severe depres­sion. COPE was devel­oped as an IVR plus work­book-based sys­tem. It is also avail­able as a net­work ver­sion (net­COPE). It assumes a min­i­mum read­ing age of 11 years. Peo­ple can phone as and when they wish. COPE is a 3‑month pro­gramme with five main treat­ment mod­ules. Sui­cide assess­ment ques­tions are includ­ed and peo­ple are urged to con­tact their doc­tor if sui­ci­dal ideation or plans are expe­ri­enced.
  • 3.4 Over­com­ing Depres­sion: a Five Areas Approach (a Calip­so prod­uct from Media Inno­va­tions Ltd) is a CD-ROM-based CBT sys­tem for peo­ple with depres­sion. The sys­tem con­sists of six ses­sions of about 45–60 min­utes each. The ses­sions are deliv­ered in a mix­ture of text, car­toon illus­tra­tions, ani­ma­tion, inter­ac­tive text, sound and video. It assumes a min­i­mum read­ing age of 9–12 years for all but one mod­ule. The CD-ROM train­ing mate­ri­als sug­gest that a prac­ti­tion­er reviews the per­son­’s use of the disc on three occa­sions over the course. Ses­sions are com­plet­ed on a week­ly basis.
  • 3.5 FearFight­er (ST Solu­tions Ltd) is a CBT-based pack­age for pho­bic, pan­ic and anx­i­ety dis­or­ders. FearFight­er was orig­i­nal­ly devel­oped for a stand-alone per­son­al com­put­er (stand­alon­eFF) but was lat­er devel­oped for use on the Inter­net (netFF). It is also avail­able in a short ver­sion for edu­ca­tion­al pur­pos­es (FFe­d­u­ca­tion). FearFight­er assumes a min­i­mum read­ing age of 11 years. FearFight­er is divid­ed into nine steps. Ther­a­pist con­tact for FearFight­er is brief, with 5 min­utes before the ses­sion and up to 15 min­utes after each ses­sion. For netFF, ther­a­pist con­tact is by tele­phone or e‑mail.
  • 3.6 BTSteps (ST Solu­tions Ltd) (now called OCFight­er) is designed to help peo­ple with OCD by help­ing them plan and car­ry out CBT on a day-to-day basis. BTSteps was devel­oped as an IVR sys­tem plus work­book. It assumes a min­i­mum read­ing age of 11 years. An Inter­net ver­sion is under devel­op­ment and will obvi­ate the need for IVR and work­book. Helpline sup­port is pro­vid­ed. BTSteps is divid­ed into nine steps.
  • 3.7 The avail­abil­i­ty of CCBT pro­grammes per­mits increased treat­ment flex­i­bil­i­ty, espe­cial­ly for indi­vid­u­als who do not want, or who are not suit­able for, drug ther­a­py or who do not wish to inter­act with a ther­a­pist. Com­put­erised deliv­ery of CBT can also be used to sup­port ther­a­pist ses­sions. CCBT may also be of ben­e­fit to indi­vid­u­als with, for exam­ple, ago­ra­pho­bia and social pho­bias because it can be deliv­ered at home. Min­i­mal ther­a­pist appoint­ment time is nec­es­sary for the types of CCBT that can be con­duct­ed at home, and the ther­a­py has 24-hour avail­abil­i­ty for the indi­vid­ual to access at his or her con­ve­nience. CCBT sys­tems can also make it pos­si­ble for users to repeat ses­sions if they wish.

Learn more:

Leave a Reply...

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Health & Wellness, Technology

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

Search in our archives

Follow us and Engage via…

RSS Feed

Watch All Recordings Now (40+ Speakers, 12+ Hours)