Computer-based behavioral therapy effective tool for addiction treatment

by Bill Hathaway
Computer-based behavioral therapy effective tool for addiction treatment
Credit: Shutterstock

(Medical Xpress)—Yale researchers have developed a computer-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program to treat substance abuse and dependence, and report that it results in better outcomes both in the near term and over time. The program is known as Computer Based Training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT4CBT. Their findings, which confirm those of an earlier pilot study, appear online in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

The researchers studied 101 cocaine-dependent patients who were being treated with methadone, splitting them into two groups—those receiving standard methadone care, and those receiving weekly CBT4CBT in addition. Patients who had access to the program were more likely to attain abstinence, and used less cocaine during the next six months

The authors write that only a minority of those who could benefit from evidence-based treatment actually receives it. Further, cognitive CBT remains rarely implemented in the treatment of substance use disorders, because of the limited availability of training programs, high rates of clinician turnover, and the cost of training clinicians in CBT.

Responding to this need, the Yale researchers developed an interactive Web-based program, CBT4CBT, that uses movies and interactive tools to teach users practical strategies to cope with craving, to manage their thoughts about drug use, and to change behavior patterns that can lead to relapse—all essential, they write, to achieving durable results.

With the Affordable Care Act having established parity for mental health and substance use treatment, the number of people seeking treatment for is expected to rise.

Greater availability of evidence-based approaches like CBT, utilizing new strategies such as Web-based programs, may help make this form of treatment more available to those who might benefit from it, say the researchers.

"CBT4CBT is now one of the only computer-based interventions demonstrated to be effective in multiple studies," said lead author Kathleen Carroll, the Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. "These findings now allow us to make CBT4CBT available for use through professionally monitored treatment programs." 

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Computer programs help drug abusers stay abstinent

May 01, 2008

Drug abusers who used a computer-assisted training program in addition to receiving traditional counseling stayed abstinent significantly longer than those who received counseling alone, a Yale University study has found.

Recommended for you

Some people may be pre-wired to be bilingual

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Some people's brains seem pre-wired to acquire a second language, new research suggests. But anyone who tries to move beyond their mother tongue will likely gain a brain boost, the small study ...

Elderly brains learn, but maybe too much

12 hours ago

A new study led by Brown University reports that older learners retained the mental flexibility needed to learn a visual perception task but were not as good as younger people at filtering out irrelevant ...

Inpatient psychotherapy is effective in Germany

15 hours ago

Sarah Liebherz (Department of Medical Psychology, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf) and Sven Rabung (Institute of Psychology, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt) have examined 59 studies conducted between 1977 ...

A game changer to boost literacy and maths skills

16 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Finding the best way to teach reading has been an ongoing challenge for decades, especially for those children in underprivileged areas who fail to learn to read. What is the magic ingredient that will ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.