The efficacy of app‐supported smartphone interventions for mental health problems: a meta‐analysis

Today we published a new paper in World Psychiatry (impact factor = 34). Although impressive progress has been made toward developing empirically‐supported psychological treatments, the reality remains that a significant proportion of people with mental health problems do not receive these treatments. Finding ways to reduce this treatment gap is crucial. Since app‐supported smartphone interventions … Läs mer

1-session virtual reality exposure therapy for public speaking anxiety: Results from a randomized controlled trial

Public speaking anxiety (PSA) is a common condition which can be treated effectively with exposure therapy. However, inherent difficulties in stimuli presentation and control limits dissemination and the therapeutic potential. Virtual Reality (VR) technology has the potential to resolve these issues and provide a scalable platform for self-help interventions. No previous study has examined whether … Läs mer

The effectiveness of guided internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety disorder in a routine care setting

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a common mental disorder with high persistence when untreated. As access to effective treatment is limited, guided internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) has been proposed as an effective alternative to face-to-face treatment. In a new study, that was published today, we examined the effectiveness of a 14-week therapist-guided ICBT program … Läs mer

Do You Believe It? Verbal Suggestions Influence the Clinical and Neural Effects of SSRI

Using truthful or deceiving verbal instructions, we tested how expectancies influence SSRI efficacy in social anxiety disorder. The number of responders was more than three times higher after open administration of escitalopram 20 mg compared to covert administration of the drug presented as “active placebo” in a cover story. Correct vs. incorrect information about the … Läs mer

Less is more: Patient-Level metaanalysis reveals paradoxical effects

The past decade of research has seen considerable interest in computer-based approaches designed to directly target cognitive mechanisms of anxiety, such as Attention Bias Modification (ABM). By pooling patient-level datasets from randomized controlled trials of ABM that utilized a dot-probe training procedure, we assessed the impact of training ‘dose’ on relevant outcomes among a pooled sample of 693 socially … Läs mer

Congratulations Kristoffer NT Månsson (who defended his PhD thesis today)

Today the psychologist and PhD student Kristoffer NT Månsson brilliantly defended his PhD thesis in Linköping University. The thesis was entitled ”Restructuring the socially anxious brain: Using magnetic resonance imaging to advance our understanding of effective cognitive behaviour therapy for social anxiety disorder”. Philippe Goldin from University of California served as an excellent opponent. We, … Läs mer

Structural but not functional neuroplasticity one year after effective cognitive behaviour therapy for social anxiety disorder

Effective psychiatric treatments ameliorate excessive anxiety and induce neuroplasticity immediately after the intervention, indicating that emotional components in the human brain are rapidly adapTable Still, the interplay between structural and functional neuroplasticity is poorly understood, and studies of treatment-induced long-term neuroplasticity are rare. Functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (using 3 T MRI) was performed … Läs mer

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with a smartphone

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can be effective in treating anxiety disorders, yet there has been no study on Internet-delivered ACT for social anxiety disorder (SAD) and panic disorder (PD), nor any study investigating whether therapist guidance is superior to unguided self-help when supplemented with a smartphone application. Until now. In a new trial, that … Läs mer

Combining SSRI and cognitive behavioural therapy for social anxiety disorder

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are often used concomitantly to treat social anxiety disorder (SAD), but few studies have examined the effect of this combination. We conducted a study to evaluate if adding escitalopram to Internet-delivered CBT (ICBT) improves clinical outcome and alters brain reactivity and connectivity in SAD. It … Läs mer

Neuroplasticity in Response to Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder

Patients with anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive neural reactivity in the amygdala, which is normalized by effective treatment like cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Mechanisms underlying the brain’s adaptation to anxiolytic treatments are likely related both to structural plasticity and functional response alterations, but multimodal neuroimaging studies addressing structure-function interactions are currently missing. Methods We … Läs mer