Technology-Based Advances in the Management of Depression: Focus on the COPE(TM) Program
John H. Greist
Deborah J. Osgood-Hynes
Isaac M. Marks
Depression remains under-recognised and under-treated despite it being more disabling than any other medical disorder and the availability of effective protocol-based psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy treatments. Prevailing psychotherapy seldom employs evidence-based treatments, continuing instead the use of idiosyncratic psychotherapies of dubious value. Computer interview programs have been developed and evaluated that have the potential to make protocol-based psychotherapy of proven efficacy available over the Internet. Interactive voice response (IVR) makes these programs even more accessible through any touch-tone telephone. COPE(TM) is a self-help program for patients with depression that combines a series of booklets, videotapes and IVR telephone calls. One trial reported significant reductions in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores in patients with depression who completed a 12-week COPE(TM) program. Impediments to dissemination of these computer tools that complement, supplement and reinforce best practice values include developer's limited knowledge of business practices and the slow change of practice paradigms.
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