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Meta-review of the effectiveness of computerised CBT in treating depression

Pooria Sarrami Foroushani1*, Justine Schneider2 and Neda Assareh3

Author Affiliations

1 CLAHRC-NDL, The University of Nottingham, School of Community Health Sciences, Sir Colin Campbell Building, Jubilee campus, Triumph Road, Nottingham, NG8 1BB, UK

2 CLAHRC-NDL, The University of Nottingham, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK

3 The University of Nottingham, School of Biomedical Sciences, NG7 2UH, UK

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BMC Psychiatry 2011, 11:131  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-11-131

Published: 12 August 2011



Several computerised cognitive behaviour therapy (cCBT) packages are now available to treat mild to moderate depression with or without anxiety. These have been usually been reviewed alongside cCBT for a wide range of psychological problems. Here, we single out the results of these reviews for the most common mental disorder, mild to moderate depression. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the quality of existing reviews and to enable reliable comparisons of alternative computer packages for the same patient group.


A thorough search and analysis of reviews of efficacy of cCBT published between 1999 and February 2011.


The search yielded twelve systematic reviews from ten studies covering depression. Their methodology is appraised and selected findings are presented here.


The meta-review supports the efficacy of cCBT for treatment of depression; however there is limited information on different approaches, whose relative cost-effectiveness remains to be demonstrated. Suggestions are made for future studies in the field.