Thursday December 13, 2018

Online therapy: Help people with mental disorders

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London: A new study has found that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a talk therapy that is based on the Internet, may help individuals affected by mental disorder.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) causes a person to have a distorted view of how they look and to spend a lot of time worrying about their appearance. If left untreated, it can lead to hospitalisation, substance dependence and suicide.

The CBT programme is significantly helpful and improves BDD’s symptom severity, depression, and the quality of life, the study said.

The CBT therapy, which helps people manage their problems by changing the way one thinks and behaves, could be particularly useful in a stepped care approach, the findings showed.

The CBT programme, “has the potential to increase access to evidence-based psychiatric care for this mental disorder”, said the researchers from the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden.

Mild to moderately affected patients can be offered CBT programme by their general practitioner, or other health professionals, thus freeing resources for more severe and complex patients to be treated in specialised settings, the researchers noted in the study published in the journal BMJ.

The researchers evaluated the effectiveness of a therapist guided internet-based CBT programme for body dysmorphic disorder compared with online supportive therapy.

The study involved 94 adult patients with a diagnosis of body dysmorphic disorder who randomly received either CBT programme or supportive therapy for 12 weeks.

None of the participants had any face-to-face contact with a therapist during treatment and both groups were followed for 3 months after the end of treatment.

Patients who underwent CBT programme showed significant improvements in their severity of symptoms, depression level, and the quality of life compared with those who had supportive therapy. These gains were maintained for at least three months after the end of treatment.

Participants in the supportive therapy group who crossed over to CBT programme after six months also improved their symptom scores.(IANS)(image: mental.disorder.net)

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Half The Global Population Uses The Internet: ITU Report

The ITU says countries that are hooked into the digital economy do better in their overall economic well-being and competitiveness.

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Nigeria, Population
Youths are seen browsing the internet inside the venue of the launch of Google free wifi project in Lagos, Nigeria. VOA

The International Telecommunication Union reports that for the first time in history, half of the global population is using the internet. A new report finds by the end of the year, 3.9 billion people worldwide will be online.

The report finds access to and use of information and communication technologies around the world is trending upwards. It notes most internet users are in developed countries, with more than 80 percent of their populations online. But it says internet use is steadily growing in developing countries, increasing from 7.7 percent in 2005 to 45.3 percent this year.

The International Telecommunication Union says Africa is the region with the strongest growth, where the percentage of people using the internet has increased from just over two percent in 2005 to nearly 25 percent in 2018.

Somalia, Population
A Somali man browses the internet on his mobile phone at a beach in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. VOA

The lowest growth rates, it says, are in Europe and the Americas, with the lowest usage found in the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition to data on internet usage, newly released statistics show mobile access to basic telecommunication services is becoming more predominant. ITU Senior Statistician, Esperanza Magpantay says access to higher speed mobile and fixed broadband also is growing.

“So, there is almost 96 percent of the population who are now covered by mobile population signal of which 90 percent are covered by 3G access. So, this is a high figure, and this helps explain why we have this 51 percent of the population now using the internet,” she said.

With the growth in mobile broadband, Magpantay says there has been an upsurge in the number of people using the internet through their mobile devices.

Nairobi, Population
Young men surf the internet at a cyber cafe on June 20, 2012 in Kibera slum in Nairobi.

The ITU says countries that are hooked into the digital economy do better in their overall economic well-being and competitiveness. Unfortunately, it says the cost of accessing telecommunication networks remains too high and unaffordable for many.

Also Read: Global Care Crisis Rises Along With Growing Population

It says prices must be brought down to make the digital economy a reality for the half the world’s people who do not, as yet, use the internet. (VOA)