Receiving psychotherapy over the phone is showing promise for people with depression, according to new research. A study published Tuesday found patients counseled over the phone were less likely to drop out of treatment compared to those who got face-to face counseling. Researchers also found people who talked to their therapist on the phone got better at the same rate as those who spent time on the counselor’s couch.
"This research gives us a pretty clear indication that providing therapy via technology can be a useful strategy," says Lynn Bufka, assistant executive director, practice research and policy at the American Psychological Association.
Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago conducted the study which was the first large trial comparing face-to-face therapy with telephone therapy. Their findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In this study, 325 people with major depressive disorder received 18 sessions of one of the two types of therapy. The scientists found that more people dropped out of treatment, usually in the first five weeks, when they went to see their therapist instead of talking on the phone.
Photos courtesy of and copyright stock.xchng, http://www.sxc.hu/