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July 2, 2012
According to a recent study published in Plos One, tailored internet-based cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) may be helpful in the treatment of depression. In the current study, researchers compared individually tailored, internet-based self-help CBT to standardized (non-tailored) internet-based CBT and an active control (a monitored online discussion group). Participants included 121 individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder and a range of comorbid symptoms. The standardized CBT (non-tailored) group received 8 self-help downloadable chapters with material on behavioral activation, cognitive restructuring, sleep management, general health advice and relapse prevention. The tailored CBT group received 25 self-help downloadable chapters with material on depression, panic, social anxiety, worrying and additional material (e.g., information on stress management and problem solving strategies) and each participant received an individual 10-week treatment plan. Both CBT groups (tailored and non-tailored) received email support from a therapist. At post-treatment and at a 6 month follow-up, both groups improved on measures of depression, anxiety, and quality of life. Subgroup analyses showed that the tailored CBT group had greater recovery rates as well as greater reductions in depressive symptoms among participants who presented with higher levels of depression and comorbidity at baseline. These results suggest that tailoring guided self-help treatments for depression may help make them more effective than standardized approaches.

Johansson, R., Sjoberg, E., Sjogren, M., Johnsson, E., Carlbring, P., Andersson, T., Rousseau, A., Andersson, G.  (2012).   Tailored vs. Standard Internet-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression and Comorbid Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Trial.  Plos ONE, 7(5) : e36905.  doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0036905