Benefits of Online Therapy

Psychotherapy via internet as good as if not better than face-to-face consultations
University of Zurich | July 2013

“In both groups, the depression values fell significantly,” says Professor Andreas Maercker, summing up the results of the study. At the end of the treatment, no more depression could be diagnosed in 53 percent of the patients who underwent online therapy – compared to 50 percent for face-to-face therapy. Three months after completing the treatment, the depression in patients treated online even decreased whereas those treated conventionally only displayed a minimal decline: no more depression could be detected in 57 percent of patients from online therapy compared to 42 percent with conventional therapy.

Outcomes of 98,609 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Patients Enrolled in Telemental Health Services, 2006–2010
Psychiatric Services | April 2012

Objective: The study assessed clinical outcomes of 98,609 mental health patients before and after enrollment in telemental health services of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs between 2006 and 2010.

Methods: The study compared number of inpatient psychiatric admissions and days of psychiatric hospitalization among patients who participated in remote clinical videoconferencing during an average period of six months before and after their enrollment in the telemental health services.

Results: Between 2006 and 2010, psychiatric admissions of telemental health patients decreased by an average of 24.2% (annual range 16.3%–38.7%), and the patients’ days of hospitalization decreased by an average of 26.6% (annual range 16.5%–43.5%). The number of admissions and the days of hospitalization decreased for both men and women and in 83.3% of the age groups.

Conclusions: This four-year study, the first large-scale assessment of telemental health services, found that after initiation of such services, patients’ hospitalization utilization decreased by an average of approximately 25%. (Psychiatric Services 63:383–385, 2012; doi: 10.1176/

Randomized Controlled Trial Shows Telepsychiatry Is As Effective As In-person Treatment
American Psychiatric Association | June 2007

“Psychiatric consultation and follow-up delivered by telepsychiatry produced clinical outcomes that were equivalent to those achieved when the service was provided face to face. Patients in the two groups expressed similar levels of satisfaction with service. An analysis limited to the cost of providing the clinical service indicated that telepsychiatry was at least 10% less expensive per patient than service provided face to face.”

The Effectiveness of Telemental Health Applications: A Review
Canadian Journal of Psychiatry | Nov 2008

A review of the literature identified 32 publications on telemental health (TMH) that were judged to be of high or good quality. There was evidence of success with TMH in the areas of child psychiatry, depression, dementia, schizophrenia, suicide prevention, posttraumatic stress, panic disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders and smoking prevention.

Specific Conditions

Internet-based PTSD Therapy May Help Overcome Barriers to Care
National Institute of Mental Health | November 2007

“NIMH-funded researchers recently completed a pilot study showing that an Internet-based, self-managed cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, with effects that last after treatment has ended.”

Online Behavioral Therapy Found Effective in Depression
The Lancet | August 2009

Researchers from the University of Bristol compared the effectiveness of 10 online sessions with a therapist to treatment by a general practitioner. 42% of the participants treated through online therapy recovered from depression versus 26% with in-person care.

Internet Videoconferencing Found Effective for Substance Abuse Counseling
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine | September 2008

“This study assesses treatment satisfaction and response to Internet-based (CRC Health Group’s e-Getgoing) group counseling for partial responders to methadone maintenance treatment. Patients testing positive for an illicit substance (n = 37) were randomly assigned to e-Getgoing or onsite group counseling and followed for 6 weeks. Patients in both conditions responded favorably to intensified treatment by achieving at least 2 consecutive weeks of abstinence and 100% attendance to return to less-intensive care…”

The Web: Online Psychotherapy Effective
British Journal of Psychiatry | November 2005

“Therapy for mildly depressed patients delivered over the Internet can be as effective as face-to-face psychotherapy …”