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Arlin Cuncic

Research Study Offers Computer Treatment Program for SAD

By August 28, 2011

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Online treatment for social anxiety disorder (SAD) seems to be a popular thing these days! I just stumbled across a study being conducted at the University of Regina by Nick Carleton, investigating the effectiveness of a computer treatment program that involves subconsciously changing thought processes that might contribute to SAD. So far, research shows a 30 to 40 percent reduction in symptoms after using the program.

Participants in the study are assigned to receive either the treatment program or a placebo; if you sign up you will not know the condition to which you have been assigned. However, if the study shows that the treatment is helpful, those in the placebo condition will be offered the treatment as well.

Carleton is excited about the program because if successful, it could offer an inexpensive and effective treatment option for people who would never normally receive help for SAD.

Participation involves 10 sessions over a period of 6 weeks. Most sessions are only 15 minutes long and involve looking at a computer screen, responding to words, and answering questionnaires. In addition, everyone in the study will be required to answer follow-up questions 4 months and 8 months after completion.

I think this is a great option for anyone looking to get help for SAD. Hopefully the results of the study are positive, and the treatment is rolled out for common use. It is so exciting to think that something that could be so easily widely distributed could also be effective.

If you wish to participate in the study, you can email the researchers at anxiety@uregina.ca.

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