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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Apr 2023 - 5 May 2023

Psychology, Review

Human Studies


2023 Apr 28

NPJ Digit Med




Internet-based and mobile-based cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis.


Tao TJ, Lim TK, Yeung ETF, Liu H, Shris PB, Ma LKY, Lee TMC, Hou WK


Positive adjustment to chronic diseases reduces psychiatric comorbidity and enhances quality of life. Very little is known about the benefit of internet-based and mobile-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (IM-CBT) on physical outcomes and its reciprocal interactions with psychiatric outcomes, the active therapeutic elements, and effect moderators among people with major chronic medical conditions. In this systematic review and meta-analysis (PROSPERO: CRD42022265738), CINAHL of Systematic Reviews, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PubMed, Web of Science are systematically searched up to 1 June 2022, for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing IM-CBT against non-CBT control condition(s) among people with chronic disease(s). Primary outcomes include improvements in psychiatric symptoms (depressive, anxiety, PTSD symptoms, general psychological distress) from baseline to post-intervention and follow-ups. Secondary outcomes include improvements in physical distress (physical symptoms, functional impairment, self-rated ill health, objective physiological dysfunction). Among 44 RCTs (5077 patients with seven different chronic diseases), IM-CBT improves depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and general psychological distress at post-intervention and across follow-ups, and improves physical distress and functional impairment at post-intervention. Preliminary evidence suggests that behavioral modification and problem-solving could be necessary components to reduce psychiatric symptoms in IM-CBT, whereas cognitive restructuring, psychoeducation, and mindfulness elements relate to reduced physical distress. IM-CBT shows stronger benefits in chronic pain, cancer, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease, relative to other conditions. Changes in psychiatric symptoms and physical distress prospectively predict each other over time. IM-CBT is an effective intervention for comprehensive symptom management among people with chronic diseases.