Computerised cognitive behavioural therapy can reduce physical symptoms and illnesses caused by depression by over 25%, according to new research.
Despina Learmouth at City University, London, looked at the effect of the Beating the Blues interactive therapy system on 504 service users.
“These findings are significant because besides the obvious fact that alleviating depression is important for individuals’ well being, physical illnesses and symptoms are known to be made worse by mental ill health,” said Learmouth. “Pain can become worse, immune functioning can be lowered, and stress levels can be increased – leading to further potential health risks.”
Beating the Blues was recommended for use by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence last year.
In April, the government issued guidance urging primary care trusts to make the system available to people with anxiety and depression.