Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychological Distress in Patients with Physical Illnesses: A Systematic Review

Andrew McCombie, Richard Gearry, Jane Andrews, Antonina Mikocka-Walus, Roger Mulder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whilst cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has been shown to improve outcomes in patients with chronic physical illnesses, there are barriers to its implementation which computerised CBT (CCBT) may overcome. We reviewed all studies of CCBT for treating psychological distress (PD) in chronic physical illness populations. Systematic searches were undertaken in July, 2013. All articles about CCBT for PD secondary to physical illness were included. Twenty-nine studies (thirty papers) were included. Overall, the quality of evidence was poor. Studies about irritable bowel syndrome demonstrated the best evidence. The evidence for CCBT in the treatment of PD in physical illness patients is modest, perhaps due to the seldom use of PD screening. More robust research designs including longer follow up periods are required. Nevertheless, no studies reported a negative effect of CCBT on any outcome measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-44
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Issue number1
Early online date11 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

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