Introduction: Guided Internet-delivered treatments were developed in the late 1990s and have since been tested in numerous controlled trials. While promising, there are yet few direct comparisons between Internet treatments and traditional face-to-face treatments. The aim of the present study is to present an overview of the evidence in the field of anxiety disorders.
Method: Studies were located, including unpublished trials from our research group in Sweden.
Results: Results of direct comparative trials on panic disorder (n=3) and social anxiety disorder (n=3) show equivalent outcomes. One study on specific phobia did not show equivalent outcomes with an advantage for face-to-face treatment. However, a systematic review by Cuijpers et al. (2010) found equivalent outcomes across several self-help formats, suggesting that guided self-help overall can be as affective as face-to-face treatments.
Conclusion: Overall, there are still few large-scale trials and statistical power is often limited. A preliminary conclusion is that guided Internet treatment can be as effective as face-to-face treatments, but there is a need to investigate moderators and mediators of the outcome.
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