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Videoconferencing psychological therapy and anxiety: a systematic review.

Videoconferencing psychological therapy and anxiety: a systematic review.

Videoconferencing psychological therapy and anxiety: a systematic review.

Fam Pract. 2018 Sep 04;:

Authors: Berryhill MB, Halli-Tierney A, Culmer N, Williams N, Betancourt A, King M, Ruggles H

Background: The growing worldwide prevalence of individuals with anxiety disorders has increased needs for mental health services. Due to limited number of mental health providers and community resources, especially in low-income countries, individuals often seek services from primary care settings. Through collaborative care models, services via telemedicine address the mental health provider shortage. While previous reviews show telemedicine effectively treats mental illness, a gap exists for reviews on videoconferencing psychological therapy for anxiety treatment.
Objective: This systematic review aims to summarize videoconferencing psychological therapy for anxiety disorder treatment.
Methods: Database searches were performed with PubMed, PsychINFO and Embase. Inclusion criteria identified controlled and uncontrolled studies evaluating videoconferencing psychological therapy. Studies were appraised using the Effective Public Health Practice Project Quality Assessment tool. Data collected included research design, sample size, intervention details, outcome results, intervention effect size and differences between videoconferencing psychological therapy and face-to-face therapy.
Results: The search revealed 1253 articles, with 21 meeting inclusion criteria. Sample sizes ranged from 1 to 121 participants; cognitive-behavioral therapy was most commonly evaluated. Participants' diagnoses included panic disorder with and without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, social phobia and hypochondriasis. Three studies occurred in outpatient health care settings. Fourteen studies reported statistically significant improvement on anxiety measures; 11 reported clinically significant improvements. Effect sizes ranged from small to very large, and all controlled studies found no differences between videoconferencing and face-to face groups.
Conclusion: Results provide promise for evidence-based interventions delivered via videoconferencing psychological therapy. More rigorous research is needed in various settings and populations.

PMID: 30188992 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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