Washington : Here’s one way to break free from depression for good – online self-help therapy.
Inspired by promising tests of web-based health intervention measures, the researchers aimed to find out whether the risk of developing depression could be reduced by a six-week online training course called GET.ON. GET.ON is based on established therapy methods involving systematic problem solving and behavioural activation.
During the course participants completed a training unit consisting of videos, texts and tasks and lasting between 30 and 90 minutes each week, and practised what they had learned in their day-to-day lives between units. Throughout the six weeks they received support from their own personal coach who they were able to contact online.
The team studied 406 people, who were at increased risk of developing depression but were not suffering from the disorder.
“We were able to show with the study that GET.ON can reduce the risk of depression occurring effectively,” says Dr. David Ebert from the Chair of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at FAU who initiated the online training course and led the study. “GET.ON offers people with initial symptoms a highly effective but also flexible and low-cost way of successfully preventing the development of a depressive disorder that would require treatment.”
The results of the GET.ON study are highly relevant for health policy. “Studies show that current methods of treatment are only able to reduce the suffering caused by depression by around a third,” Ebert explained. “Effective prevention strategies that provide support at an early stage are of equal importance to sufferers, the healthcare system and the economy. For this reason, Germany’s new Prevention Act has now defined the prevention of depression as an important task for the healthcare system for the first time. The current study shows that this is indeed a possibility with online training.”
The study appears in JAMA. (ANI)