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Internet-Delivered CBT Reduces Atopic Dermatitis Symptoms

WEDNESDAY, May 19, 2021 -- Internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) reduces symptoms of atopic dermatitis, according to a study published online May 19 in JAMA Dermatology.

Erik Hedman-Lagerlöf, Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues randomly assigned adults with atopic dermatitis to either 12 weeks of therapist-guided internet-delivered CBT or a control condition that gave instructions regarding standard care in a 1:1 ratio (51 participants in each group).

The researchers found that participants receiving internet-delivered CBT had a significantly larger mean weekly reduction in symptoms of atopic dermatitis relative to controls, as measured with the Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure (ß = 0.32; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.14 to 0.49; P < 0.001) and with a moderate-to-large, controlled effect size after treatment (d = 0.75; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.32 to 1.16). Internet-delivered CBT also produced significantly larger reductions in itch intensity, perceived stress, sleep problems, and depression in secondary analyses. At 12-month follow-up, gains were sustained. Treatment satisfaction was high; therapists spent a mean of 39.7 minutes providing internet-delivered CBT per treated patient.

"This treatment can yield substantial improvements in atopic dermatitis symptoms, perceived stress, sleep problems, and depressive symptoms while requiring minimal therapist resources," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to DahliaQomit; the author also has a patent for a CBT manual for irritable bowel syndrome, with royalties paid from Pear Therapeutics.

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