Cognitive therapy by telephone studied

Cognitive therapy delivered over the telephone is as effective, yet more accessible, than such treatment given face to face. This is according to new findings from the University of Cambridge, the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research & Care and NHS Midlands & East, which showed such an approach could be more cost-effective for the NHS.

It was found that talking therapy via the phone can improve access to psychological therapies for individuals with common mental disorders.

The investigation - which saw cognitive behavioural therapy provided in-person or down the line to 39,000 patients in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services - revealed over the phone is as effective as face to face methods, with cost per session standing 36.2 per cent lower.

Professor Peter Jones, Principal Investigator of the study from the University of Cambridge, noted: "Providing therapy over the phone will not only help individuals gain much-needed access to mental health treatment, it will provide a more cost effective way of providing these services."

Nadine Field, a Chartered Psychologist, adds: "Telephone sessions may well be as effective as face-to-face sessions, but it is important to think about confidentiality of access.  Many people, particularly those from ethnic minorities, do not have access to a private space, unless they are on their PC."