Digital Delivery of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Digital cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a structured, goal-oriented treatment proven effective in helping individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) recognize and interrupt destructive thought patterns, change ingrained behaviors, and stop substance use. CBT is based on the social learning theory that substance use is a learned behavior that can be unlearned and replaced with desirable behaviors.

CHESS Health’s eRecovery solution integrates digital delivery of CBT via the Connections app. The digital CBT module is available through a partnership with CBT4CBT, an evidence-based treatment module developed by Yale University researchers and clinicians. Yale’s research on its efficacy is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Patient participation in the entertaining, gamified, skills-based CBT lessons is tracked on a dashboard, allowing providers to see progress. The CBT module is offered in English and Spanish.

Multiple published studies on the effects of digital CBT reveal its benefits for patients and providers, including:

  • Positive and lasting outcomes that match or exceed traditional in-person therapy
  • Extending the reach of the clinician by expanding the capacity to reach more patients 
  • Demonstrated efficacy as an add-on to standard outpatient treatment, including pharmacotherapy, and as a stand-alone treatment with minimal monitoring by a clinician
  • Affordability
  • Accessibility in any location on various digital devices
  • Stronger retention of CBT concepts by patients
  • Customization of program modules for various demographics and cultures

Research comparing the results of individuals using traditional CBT versus digital CBT or digital CBT combined with other treatments and interventions reveals that people using digital CBT demonstrated improved outcomes as documented below.

Source: “Comparative Effectiveness of Web-Based vs. Educator-Delivered HIV Prevention for Adolescent Substance Users: A Randomized, Controlled Trial” Journal of Adolescent Health, 2019

Sources: “Small study suggests benefits of computer-guided CBT for substance abuse” published in Harvard Health Publishing, August 2018, and Impulsivity Moderates Subjective Responses to Alcohol in Alcohol-Dependent Individuals, “published in Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research in 2013

Source: “Computer-Assisted Delivery of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Efficacy and Durability of CBT4CBT Among Cocaine-Dependent Individuals Maintained on Methadone.”, Substance Abuse, 2018

Source: “Reduced Discounting of Delayed Rewards in Current and Former Opioid Addicts,” published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2016.

Learn more about the digital CBT module available in eRecovery. 

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