Emotional Outcomes and Mechanisms of Change in Online Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions: A Quantitative Meta-Analysis of Clinical Controlled Studies

Vlad Mureşan, Guy H. Montgomery, Daniel David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study investigates whether hypothesized cognitive mechanisms of change mediate the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) delivered online for treating depression and anxiety disorders. Articles were included by searching MEDLINE, PsychInfo and PsychArticles databases from January 1980 to March 2011. The inclusion criteria were as follows: (a) randomized clinical trials investigating the role of CBT delivered online, (b) patient sample had clinical or subclinical intensity emotional problems, (c) at least one measure of cognitions was included, (d) the inclusion of a control group, and (e) sufficient data provided to allow calculation of effect sizes. Eleven articles were selected. Results revealed a moderate overall effect size of CBT (d =.67, P <.05) on the combined cognitive and emotional outcomes. A positive impact of online CBT on cognitive factors (d =.69, P <.05) and emotional outcomes (d =.63, P <.05) was independently demonstrated. In conclusion, cognitive-behavioral therapy delivered online can be used as an efficacious treatment for patients with emotional disorders. Assuming causal effects, the data indicate that cognitive factors are an important mechanism of change in online CBT. Future online CBT focusing on changing cognitions are likely to be efficacious.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Technology in Human Services
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • clinical controlled studies
  • cognition
  • cognitive-behavioral interventions
  • internet
  • mechanisms of change

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