Computer-based behavioral therapy effective tool for addiction treatment

February 17, 2014 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." 

Explore further: Cognitive behavioral therapy adds no value to drug treatment for opioid dependence

Related Stories

Cognitive behavioral therapy adds no value to drug treatment for opioid dependence

January 4, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—In a surprise finding, Yale researchers report that adding cognitive behavioral therapy to the most commonly used drug treatment for opioid dependence does not further reduce illicit drug use by patients. ...

Cognitive behavioral therapy best for cancer patients with insomnia

January 9, 2014
(HealthDay)—Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is the preferred choice over mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for nonpharmacologic management of insomnia in patients with cancer, according to a study ...

Stimulant-addicted patients can quit smoking without hindering treatment

December 11, 2013
Smokers who are addicted to cocaine or methamphetamine can quit smoking while being treated for their stimulant addiction, without interfering with stimulant addiction treatment. This is according to new research funded by ...

Researchers test effectiveness of treatments for alcoholism and anxiety

October 7, 2013
Domenic Ciraulo, MD, chair of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and David H. Barlow, PhD, professor of psychology at Boston University (BU), have collaborated to study the effect of behavioral and ...

CBT is not an effective treatment for symptoms of schizophrenia

January 3, 2014
Health organisations around the world recommend a form of psychotherapy, known as cognitive-behavioural therapy or CBT, for patients with schizophrenia. Now, however, the most extensive study ever undertaken into its effect ...

Recommended for you

Infants know what we like best, study finds

July 27, 2017
Behind the chubby cheeks and bright eyes of babies as young as 8 months lies the smoothly whirring mind of a social statistician, logging our every move and making odds on what a person is most likely to do next, suggests ...

Research aims to shape more precise treatments for depression in women

July 27, 2017
Among women in the United States, depression is at epidemic levels: Approximately 12 million women in the U.S. experience clinical depression each year, and more than 12 percent of women can expect to experience depression ...

Negativity, be gone—new online tool can retrain your brain

July 27, 2017
Anxiety and depression can have devastating effects on people's lives. In some cases, the mental disorders lead to isolation, poverty and poor physical health, things that often cascade to future generations.

Very preterm birth not associated with mood and anxiety disorders, new research finds

July 27, 2017
Do very-preterm or very-low-weight babies develop anxiety and mood disorders later in life? Julia Jaekel, assistant professor of child and family studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Dieter Wolke, professor ...

Talking to yourself can help you control stressful emotions

July 26, 2017
The simple act of silently talking to yourself in the third person during stressful times may help you control emotions without any additional mental effort than what you would use for first-person self-talk – the way people ...

Heart rate study tests emotional impact of Shakespeare

July 26, 2017
In a world where on-screen violence has become commonplace, Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company is turning to science to discover whether the playwright can still make our hearts race more than 400 years on.

0 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.