Depression and anxiety are common mental disorders, usually treated by GPs. Recognition of both disorders by GPs is often poor and the proportion of people who actually receive treatment is low. Medication is usually the first, and often the only treatment, offered but it can have unwanted side effects. There is substantial evidence to support the use of psychological therapies, particularly cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) but it is expensive and there is a shortage of therapists leading to long waiting lists. Alternative methods of providing CBT have been developed, including computerised CBT (CCBT). A study of CCBT in the British Journal of Psychiatry reviewed previous research on the technique and found that 'there is some evidence to support the effectiveness of CCBT for the treatment of depression.' However, the studies examined had considerable drop-out rates and little evidence was presented regarding participants' preferences and the acceptability of the therapy.
Kaltenthaler, Eva ... [et al] - Computerised cognitive behavioural therapy for depression: systematic review British Journal of Psychiatry September 2008, 193(3), 181-184