Wide support for online treatment of depression

HEALTHCARE professionals and lay people are both comfortable with Internet treatment programs for anxiety and depression, Australian data shows.

Researchers from the University of NSW surveyed more than 1000 Australians online about their attitudes to Internet-based treatment for anxiety and depression.

Healthcare ­professionals, who represented 40% of the respondents, and lay people both said Internet-based treatments were acceptable for mild and moderate anxiety and depression.

Half of the lay respondents said they would use Internet-based treatments, compared with 38% of healthcare professionals. Eighty per cent of those who had used Internet-based treatments previously were more likely to use these treatments, compared with 44% of non-users, which the authors said indicated the experience of users had been positive.

Ten per cent of lay people said they would prefer the Internet to face-to-face treatment, compared with only 4% of