Effectiveness of Text Messaging for the Management of Psychological and Somatic Distress in Depressed and Anxious Outpatients
Roberto Truzoli*, Cecilia Rovetta, Eliana Nola, Luca Matteucci, Caterina Viganò
Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences "L. Sacco", University of Milan, via G.B. Grassi, 74 - 20157 Milan, Italy
Cognitive behavioral group therapy has developed several techniques in order to make the treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders more effective. Particularly, the “homework” is a tool in order to practice therapeutic skills in ecological settings. When working with this aim, it is often necessary to support patient compliance.
Researches have shown the efficacy of sending a text to the patients in order to support the patient compliance, but only a few data are available on the effectiveness of sending text in the treatment of depression and anxiety.
Verify the effectiveness of sending text in the treatment of depression and anxiety in order to support patient compliance.
Participants were enrolled for cognitive behavioral group therapy. Once completed the treatment, a sub-group of participants (Yes SMS group) was reached by a weekly text message for the whole 3 months time between the end of the intervention and the scheduled follow-up session.
All the participants were assessed for the overall psychopathological symptoms, depression, and anxiety before and after the group intervention, and at the 3 months follow up.
Both groups improved from pre to post-treatment in all the assessed dimensions; the enhancement endures up to the 3 months follow up.
Comparing the two groups regardless of the diagnosis, the Yes SMS group shows significant better outcomes in depression at follow-up and in anxiety both at post-treatment and at follow-up.
The weekly SMS as prompt seems to enhance the patient’s compliance.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences "L. Sacco", University of Milan, via G.B. Grassi, 74 - 20157 Milan Italy; Tel: +393336126954; E-mail: email@example.com