The Zoomer Report: Depression and Phone Treatment

Here’s some good news about treating depression. In a review of more than 50 studies, researchers from several North American universities found that patients who receive psychotherapy for depression over the phone are much less likely to quit.

Just 7.6 per cent of phone patients dropped out of regular treatments, according to the meta-analysis, compared with nearly 50 per cent of face-to-face patients.

The study, which appears in Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, could help thaw widespread resistance among therapists to treating patients by phone. Experts say their most common concern is that they won’t pick up on their patient’s non-verbal cues. But much has changed over the past decade.

Telephone therapy is widely prescribed by American health-care providers and employee-assistance programs. In Canada , doctors can only bill for face-to-face sessions.

It’s something to think about though these findings don’t provide conclusive proof of the benefits of tele-therapy.


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About The Zoomer Report

Libby ZnaimerLibby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.

Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.

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