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CCBT: Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

What is CCBT?

CCBT stands for Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and refers to the use of apps or other programs to do CBT therapy on a personal basis.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is, essentially, a method of training people to recognize fallacious beliefs or self-destructive behavior in themselves and then working with them to change their beliefs and behaviors to more healthy, productive ones. For example, someone prone to catastrophizing (assuming the worst outcome of a situation) may need to learn how to identify more likely outcomes.

CBT works best with mild to moderate emotional disturbances, especially depression and anxiety. Patients may use these programs in concert with their therapists or general practitioners, but cCBT has also proven itself very effective when used on its own.

Why Is It Important to Have a Good CCBT Program?

Research indicates that CBT and cCBT work very well even for individuals working alone. The machine learning programs in computerized apps, in particular, provide immediate feedback for people to help them see their own behavioral patterns and respond to prompts to improve.

For people who cannot or who won’t access mental health care due to availability, stigma, or costs, computerized CBT can do enormous good.

What Internal Data Should I Have for a Good CCBT Program?

Naturally, cCBT programs use patient/user data, from their baseline needs and goals to their ongoing progress throughout the therapy.

What External Data Is Essential for a Good Therapy Program?

Essential external data that these programs require are established, proven therapeutic CBT methods.

Developers and therapists should also take note of new studies on effective treatments or therapeutic app interfaces and design.

What External Data May Prove Useful for a Good Therapy Program?

One of the more popular additional data sources is a means of contacting counselors, whether through text or live videos.

Other useful external data may include integrations with other self-improvement apps, like sleep monitors or step counters. Integrations with calendars or clocks may also help patients/users manage their social and habit-related goals.

What Are the Main Challenges of this Use Case?

Privacy is one of the greatest concerns for any healthcare-related technology and cCBT is certainly no exception. Developers should introduce whatever security measures they can without compromising ease-of-use.

Secondly, these programs are, by design, very attractive to those who cannot access mental health care. Yet, they are not very helpful for those with severe problems who may nonetheless try to use these apps. Therefore, developers might add something like an emergency help button that connects users to the nearest emergency helpline.

Interesting Case Studies and Blogs to Look Into

Empathia: The Rising Trend of Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (cCBT)
JMIR Publications: Web-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression With and Without Telephone Tracking in a National Helpline: Secondary Outcomes From a Randomized Controlled Trial

Tangible Examples of Impact

New York City-based Quartet’s national network of care options includes virtual tele-psychiatry and tele-therapy. Through the collaboration, patients connected to care through Quartet can use SilverCloud’s computerized cognitive behavioral therapy (cCBT) tools.

According to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation in April, 45% of survey respondents reported that the coronavirus negatively impacted their mental health, up from 32% the month prior.

Many stakeholders see a looming mental health crisis. Yet, the United States is ill-equipped to meet this demand. According to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 65% of non-metropolitan counties in the United States lack a psychiatrist, and nearly 50% of non-metropolitan counties lack a psychologist.

FierceHealthcare: Quartet taps SilverCloud Health to broaden access to digital mental health services

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