The brave new world of computerised interventions for addictions

First published: 09/05/2019 | Last updated: May 20th, 2019

The capacity to deliver some aspects of treatment via the internet holds the possibility of revolutionize addiction treatment along two pathways.  The first is dissemination: Once demonstrated to be effective, a computerized therapy can greatly expand the availability of empirically supported therapies, particularly to underserved populations.  These therapies may also extend the capacity of clinicians to more effectively intervene with a broader range of clients.  Second, these approaches may provide a means of more rigorously evaluating individual components of specific treatments as well as understanding the mechanisms of effective therapies.  By reducing variability in delivery of treatments, the level of precision and standardization afforded by computerized therapies may help work highlighting how hypothesized mediators may exert their effects and how behavioral therapies may affect biological processes.  Examples will be drawn from current research on Dr. Carroll’s work on computerized cognitive behavioral therapies.

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