↓ Skip to main content

Therapist-supported Internet cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders in adults

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2016
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (95th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (79th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
1 news outlet
blogs
1 blog
twitter
38 tweeters
facebook
3 Facebook pages
wikipedia
2 Wikipedia pages

Citations

dimensions_citation
127 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
533 Mendeley
You are seeing a free-to-access but limited selection of the activity Altmetric has collected about this research output. Click here to find out more.
Title
Therapist-supported Internet cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders in adults
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd011565.pub2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Janine V Olthuis, Margo C Watt, Kristen Bailey, Jill A Hayden, Sherry H Stewart

Abstract

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for anxiety disorders. Many people have difficulty accessing treatment, due to a variety of obstacles. Researchers have therefore explored the possibility of using the Internet to deliver CBT; it is important to ensure the decision to promote such treatment is grounded in high quality evidence. To assess the effects of therapist-supported Internet CBT (ICBT) on remission of anxiety disorder diagnosis and reduction of anxiety symptoms in adults as compared to waiting list control, unguided CBT, or face-to-face CBT. Effects of treatment on quality of life and patient satisfaction with the intervention were also assessed. We searched the Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Review Group Specialised Register (CCDANCTR) to 16 March 2015. The CCDANCTR includes relevant randomised controlled trials from MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and CENTRAL. We also searched online clinical trial registries and reference lists of included studies. We contacted authors to locate additional trials. Each identified study was independently assessed for inclusion by two authors. To be included, studies had to be randomised controlled trials of therapist-supported ICBT compared to a waiting list, attention, information, or online discussion group; unguided CBT (that is, self-help); or face-to-face CBT. We included studies that treated adults with an anxiety disorder (panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and specific phobia) defined according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III, III-R, IV, IV-TR or the International Classification of Disesases 9 or 10. Two authors independently assessed the risk of bias of included studies and judged overall study quality. We used data from intention-to-treat analyses wherever possible. We assessed treatment effect for the dichotomous outcome of clinically important improvement in anxiety using a risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). For disorder-specific and general anxiety symptom measures and quality of life we assessed continuous scores using standardized mean differences (SMD). We examined statistical heterogeneity using the I(2) statistic. We screened 1736 citations and selected 38 studies (3214 participants) for inclusion. The studies examined social phobia (11 trials), panic disorder with or without agoraphobia (8 trials), generalized anxiety disorder (5 trials), post-traumatic stress disorder (2 trials), obsessive compulsive disorder (2 trials), and specific phobia (2 trials). Eight remaining studies included a range of anxiety disorder diagnoses. Studies were conducted in Sweden (18 trials), Australia (14 trials), Switzerland (3 trials), the Netherlands (2 trials), and the USA (1 trial) and investigated a variety of ICBT protocols. Three primary comparisons were identified, therapist-supported ICBT versus waiting list control, therapist-supported versus unguided ICBT, and therapist-supported ICBT versus face-to-face CBT.Low quality evidence from 11 studies (866 participants) contributed to a pooled risk ratio (RR) of 3.75 (95% CI 2.51 to 5.60; I(2) = 50%) for clinically important improvement in anxiety at post-treatment, favouring therapist-supported ICBT over a waiting list, attention, information, or online discussion group only. The SMD for disorder-specific symptoms at post-treatment (28 studies, 2147 participants; SMD -1.06, 95% CI -1.29 to -0.82; I(2) = 83%) and general anxiety symptoms at post-treatment (19 studies, 1496 participants; SMD -0.75, 95% CI -0.98 to -0.52; I(2) = 78%) favoured therapist-supported ICBT; the quality of the evidence for both outcomes was low.One study compared unguided CBT to therapist-supported ICBT for clinically important improvement in anxiety at post-treatment, showing no difference in outcome between treatments (54 participants; very low quality evidence). At post-treatment there were no clear differences between unguided CBT and therapist-supported ICBT for disorder-specific anxiety symptoms (5 studies, 312 participants; SMD -0.22, 95% CI -0.56 to 0.13; I(2) = 58%; very low quality evidence) or general anxiety symptoms (2 studies, 138 participants; SMD 0.28, 95% CI -2.21 to 2.78; I(2) = 0%; very low quality evidence).Compared to face-to-face CBT, therapist-supported ICBT showed no significant differences in clinically important improvement in anxiety at post-treatment (4 studies, 365 participants; RR 1.09, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.34; I(2) = 0%; low quality evidence). There were also no clear differences between face-to-face and therapist supported ICBT for disorder-specific anxiety symptoms at post-treatment (7 studies, 450 participants; SMD 0.06, 95% CI -0.25 to 0.37; I(2) = 60%; low quality evidence) or general anxiety symptoms at post-treatment (5 studies, 317 participants; SMD 0.17, 95% CI -0.35 to 0.69; I(2) = 78%; low quality evidence).Overall, risk of bias in included studies was low or unclear for most domains. However, due to the nature of psychosocial intervention trials, blinding of participants and personnel, and outcome assessment tended to have a high risk of bias. Heterogeneity across a number of the meta-analyses was substantial, some was explained by type of anxiety disorder or may be meta-analytic measurement artefact due to combining many assessment measures. Adverse events were rarely reported. Therapist-supported ICBT appears to be an efficacious treatment for anxiety in adults. The evidence comparing therapist-supported ICBT to waiting list, attention, information, or online discussion group only control was low to moderate quality, the evidence comparing therapist-supported ICBT to unguided ICBT was very low quality, and comparisons of therapist-supported ICBT to face-to-face CBT were low quality. Further research is needed to better define and measure any potential harms resulting from treatment. These findings suggest that therapist-supported ICBT is more efficacious than a waiting list, attention, information, or online discussion group only control, and that there may not be a significant difference in outcome between unguided CBT and therapist-supported ICBT; however, this latter finding must be interpreted with caution due to imprecision. The evidence suggests that therapist-supported ICBT may not be significantly different from face-to-face CBT in reducing anxiety. Future research should explore heterogeneity among studies which is reducing the quality of the evidence body, involve equivalence trials comparing ICBT and face-to-face CBT, examine the importance of the role of the therapist in ICBT, and include effectiveness trials of ICBT in real-world settings. A timely update to this review is needed given the fast pace of this area of research.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 38 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 533 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Spain 2 <1%
Sweden 2 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Colombia 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 526 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 112 21%
Student > Bachelor 71 13%
Student > Ph. D. Student 68 13%
Researcher 59 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 41 8%
Other 83 16%
Unknown 99 19%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 166 31%
Medicine and Dentistry 110 21%
Nursing and Health Professions 52 10%
Social Sciences 25 5%
Neuroscience 11 2%
Other 56 11%
Unknown 113 21%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 45. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 08 January 2020.
All research outputs
#487,916
of 15,606,443 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#1,264
of 11,222 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#13,112
of 267,173 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#40
of 199 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 15,606,443 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,222 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 23.3. This one has done well, scoring higher than 88% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 267,173 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 199 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 79% of its contemporaries.