Computer-assisted group therapy for the treatment of depression and anxiety in general practice
Abstract:Aims To (a) elucidate a model of group therapy for the treatment of depression and anxiety in a general practice population, and (b) explore the role of computers in the model.
Rationale To improve the quality of community mental health care through the provision of mental health services to general practice patients, the Adelaide North East Division of General Practice (ANEDGP) developed a new group intervention for anxiety and depression, incorporating the use of computers. A clear model of this intervention is required to aid in the evaluation and transfer of this emerging therapy.
Method Qualitative data were collected from mental health professionals (n = 7) and patients (n = 8) using participant observation, focus groups and one-to-one interviews. The data were collected and analysed based on a grounded theory methodology.
Conclusions The model integrates focused psychological strategies and narrative therapy, utilising a diverse range of techniques and modalities. Individual computer-assisted modules are incorporated into the model. Mental health professionals and patients identified nine key benefits of computer use in group therapy. While the use of computers in therapy does not hold universal appeal for all patients, there is evidence to support it as an innovative and therapeutic adjunct to group therapy.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2005