Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine

Original Research

Computerised cognitive behavioural therapy: helping Ireland log on

C. Twomeya1a2, G. O'Reillya1 and M. Byrnea2 c1

a1 School of Psychology, University College Dublin, Ireland

a2 Roscommon Service Area, Health Service Executive (HSE) West, Ireland

Objectives The aim of this article is to review and highlight evidence-based computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT) programmes that can potentially be used in Ireland for the treatment of mild-to-moderate mental health difficulties.

Methods The authors undertook a literature search using three databases, and consulted a recognised, university-developed web portal. For a programme to be included in this review, it had to (a) have at least one randomised controlled trial demonstrating its efficacy; (b) be available on the internet; and (c) be delivered in English.

Findings Twenty-five cCBT programmes that met the inclusion criteria were profiled. Taken together, these programmes target various anxiety difficulties (i.e. generalised anxiety, panic/phobia, social anxiety and post-traumatic stress), depression (or low mood), eating problems, stress, insomnia, pain and alcohol misuse.

Conclusions cCBT programmes, preferably administered as part of a stepped-care model, offer effective, low-cost and low-intensity interventions for a wide range of psychological problems. Their use could be beneficial given how underdeveloped primary care mental health services are in Ireland.

(Received May 15 2012)

(Accepted August 22 2012)

Key words

  • Computerised CBT;
  • internet-delivered therapy;
  • Ireland;
  • stepped care

Correspondence

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr M. Byrne, Principal Psychologist Manager, Psychology Department, Health Service, Executive West, Primary Care Centre, Golf Links Road, Roscommon, Dublin, Ireland. (Email michaelj.byrne@hse.ie)