According to a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry, first author Helen Christensen of the University of New South Wales in Australia, an automated online intervention could reduce depressive symptoms in adults with insomnia .
“The onset of major depressive disorders is preventable in 25% of cases with cognitive-behavioral therapy ” begins the researcher, recalling that the prevention of depression is challenging. “In most cases, the symptoms begin in young people who do not know they are at risk, with little known causal dynamics and not associated with any specific biomedical or psychosocial marker”, the author continues, specifying that access to therapy cognitive-behavioral is often difficult.
“Nevertheless, given the high coexistence of depression and insomnia, one way to promptly diagnose depressive symptoms could be to treat insomnia,” explain the authors, who verified whether an online self-help program for insomnia was in place. able to improve, in addition to rest, even depression.
The online program is called SHUTi, (Sleep Healthy Using the Internet), an online automated cognitive-behavioral therapy system to help insomniacs, and the authors tested it for six weeks on over 1,100 Australian adults who had insomnia in addition to insomnia. even depressive symptoms without leading to major depression.
To improve sleep, SHUTi uses cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques in a fully automatic way, urging patients to avoid reading and watching TV in the bedroom, not to take afternoon naps, and to change unnecessary beliefs and thoughts such as worries about consequences of poor night sleep.
“About half of the participants completed the study, and the results show an improvement in depressive symptoms,” the researchers conclude.
And in an editorial Ricardo Munoz of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco writes: «SHUTi and similar interventions could pave the way for low-cost global strategies, available to anyone in the world with online access, with cost-effective results. -a benefit hardly equal to any alternative existing today “.