Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Computer-Based CBT Appears to Be Effective Adjunct in Cocaine-Dependence Treatment, Study Finds

Computer-based training for CBT (CBT4CBT) appears to be an effective adjunct to addiction treatment and is an easily disseminated strategy for broadening the availability of CBT, even in challenging populations such as cocaine-dependent individuals enrolled in methadone maintenance programs. That’s the finding from the study “Computer-Assisted Delivery of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Efficacy and Durability of CBT4CBT Among Cocaine-Dependent Individuals Maintained on Methadone,” which is published online in AJP in Advance.

Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine randomly assigned 101 cocaine-dependent individuals maintained on methadone to standard methadone maintenance or to methadone maintenance with weekly access to CBT4CBT, with seven modules delivered within an eight-week trial. The CBT4CBT program is user friendly and requires no previous experience with computers or reading skills, the researchers noted. The program is media rich, using games, cartoons, quizzes, and other interactive exercises to teach and model the effective use of skills and strategies.

Participants assigned to the CBT4CBT condition were significantly more likely to attain three or more consecutive weeks of cocaine abstinence. The group assigned to CBT4CBT also had better outcomes on most dimensions, including urine specimens negative for all drugs, but these reached statistical significance only for individuals completing the eight-week trial. Follow-up data collected six months after treatment termination were available for 93% of the randomized sample and indicated continued improvement for those assigned to the CBT4CBT group.

The researchers concluded that CBT4CBT as an adjunct to methadone maintenance therapy for cocaine users improved outcomes for the participants compared with standard methadone maintenance treatment alone.

For information on the use of computer training in treatment of other disorders, see the Psychiatric News article, “Computer Training Augments Benefits of Supported Employment.” See also the American Psychiatric Publishing book, “Cocaine and Methamphetamine Addiction: Advances in Treatment” and the Psychiatric Services study, "E-Mental Health: A Rapid Review of the Literature."

(Image: Heike Brauer/shutterstock.com) 


The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.