An Observer analysis of data from private providers, cross-checked against NHS figures, reveals around one in three mental health treatments in England are delivered online, up from one in five in 2019, and one in 10 in 2017. Patients with mild to moderate depression or anxiety can be referred to app- or web-based, self-guided cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) courses, instead of traditional face-to-face talking therapies.
The health watchdog Nice has approved three online CBT courses for NHS patients with depression: Beating the Blues, by 365 Health Solutions; Deprexis, by Ethypharm Digital Therapy; and Space from Depression by SilverCloud. It has also approved another six online courses for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and body dysmorphic disorder … In the past decade nearly 700,000 NHS patients have been referred to third-party virtual therapy services run by SilverCloud – the leading private supplier of depression and anxiety online CBT courses to the NHS – which is owned by US-based telemedicine firm Amwell…
“Digital tools offer the opportunity to help services better cope, as well as preventing them from becoming so overwhelmed in the first place,” said Dr Derek Richards, head of research at Amwell. “Early intervention is critical in preventing a patient’s mild to moderate symptoms from worsening – which has a twofold benefit: economically for the NHS, but more importantly, it reduces the personal cost to patients.” But he added online therapy may not suit everyone and that it was still up to healthcare professionals to identify “who may and may not benefit”.
News in Context:
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