Author(s): Kenwright M, Liness S, Marks I
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Many patients with phobia/panic find it hard to access effective treatment. AIMS: To test the feasibility of computer-guided exposure therapy for phobia/panic. METHOD: Self-referrals were screened for 20 min and, if suitable, had six sessions of computer-guided self-help (from a system called FearFighter). Pre- and post-treatment ratings of 54 patients were compared with those of 31 similar out-patients with phobia/panic who received the same treatment guided by a clinician. RESULTS: At pre-treatment, computer-guided cases were slightly less severe than clinician-guided patients. In a post-treatment intent-to-treat analysis, both groups improved comparably but computer-guided patients spent 86\% less time with a clinician than did purely clinician-guided patients, who had no access to the computer system. CONCLUSIONS: Computer-guided self-exposure therapy appeared feasible and effective for self-referrals and saved much clinician time. A controlled study is now needed.
This article was published in Br J Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Health & Medical Informatics