ICBT Apps Effective in Alleviating Severe Depression Manifestations, Study Says

According to a recent study by Indiana University psychologists have found out a positive interesting fact about ICBT apps. Yes! They should not be anymore considered useless as it can help to reduce depression.

The study involved the revision of 21 studies with the participation of 4,781 people. The study was led by the researcher, Lorenzo-Luaces, a clinician in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences.

There are millions of websites which daily claims to treat depression effectively. The prime objective of the IU study was to study those apps which provide the patients cognitive behavioral therapy. It is a form of a physiotherapy which targets the patient’s thoughts and behaviors, ultimately alleviating the manifestations of depression and other mental disorders.

There are already many studies who have reached up to the point of the effectiveness of individual Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy apps by using various ways. However, no one has reviewed the effect of these apps on the patients who are caught up with severe depression. The IU study has especially focused on the alcohol or anxiety facing people.

According to Lorenzo-Luaces, “Before this study, I thought past studies were probably focused on people with very mild depression, those who did not have other mental health problems and were at low risk for suicide. To my surprise, that was not the case. The science suggests that these apps and platforms can help a large number of people.”

As per Lorenzo-Luaces, the ICBT apps are one of the easiest ways to treat the depressing people. Depression these days has become a public health issue which needs to be quickly solved or it can further increase the suicide rate which is currently resting on 30%.

“Close to one in four people meet the criteria for major depressive disorder. If you include people with minor depression or who have been depressed for a week or a month with a few symptoms, the number grows, exceeding the number of psychologists who can serve them, he says.”

People who are currently in the phase of depression also have to go through an expensive healthcare. Lorenzo- Lucas says, “They tend to visit primary-care physicians more often than others. They have more medical problems, and their depression sometimes gets in the way of their taking their medication for other medical problems.”

Lorenzo-Lucas and his team members carried out a meta-regression analysis of nearly 21 studies and found out that the therapy platforms roaming on the internet can actually be helpful in alleviating depression.

The question which is being raised after the Luaces study is that whether the ex-studies have misguided the people about the strength of internet therapy apps on severe depression or not. The outcome of the study is a positive one that is the internet therapy apps can work for all mild, moderate, and severe depressions.

The previous studies main focus was to compare the efficiency of internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy apps, therapies taken by setting in a queue, and fake apps- the ones who give weak suggestions. By comparing all of them the ICBT apps were proved to be the best one.

According to Lorenzo-Luaces, “This is not to say that you should stop taking your medication and go to the nearest app store.” He says that antidepressants and face to face base therapies are still far better than the ICBT apps alone.

He further added, “People tend to do better when they have a little bit of guidance.” However, he also asserts pressure on the point that only 10 to 15 minute of checkup is enough; also this will free space for other patients to get a checkup too.

“ICBT apps take the methods we have learned and make them available to the many people who could benefit from them. It’s an exciting development, he said.”

These ICBT apps can do wonders for the people who cannot avail face to face therapies due to rural areas or their busy schedules.

Adeena Tariq

Adeena's professional life has been mostly in hospital management, while studying international business in college. Of course, she now covers topics for us in health.

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