Internet and Online Research
By Jan Warner LISWS, PhD
Internet interventions are emerging technologies which include, web, mobile, digital gaming, virtual reality, remote sensing, and robotics meant to aid with a wide range of conditions. There is a publication dedicated to these interventions called the Journal of Medical Internet Research (Griffiths, Lindenmeyer, Powell, Lowe, & Thorogood, 2006). As such, there is a growing amount of research focusing on the benefits of online therapies (Stapleton et al., 2016a; Church et al., 2009; Stapleton, Church, Sheldon, Porter, & Carlopio, 2013).
Parsons and Rizzo (2008) researched the effects of using virtual reality exposure therapy for anxiety and specific phobias which had shown promising results. In this case, virtual reality exposure therapy is included as part of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Though this therapy has been known to reduce anxiety, there is still research on internet therapies needed. On a positive note, Cuijpers, Marks, van Straten Cavangh, Gega, and Andersson (2009) have found success for computer-aided therapy with anxiety disorders.
Church, D., Geronilla, L., & Dinter, I. (2009). Psychological symptom change in veterans after six sessions of EFT (emotional freedom techniques): An observational study. International Journal of Healing and Caring, 9(1), 1-14.
Cuijpers, P., Marks, I. M., van Straten, A., Cavanagh, K., Gega, L., & Andersson, G. (2009). Computer-aided psychotherapy for anxiety disorders: A meta-analytic review. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 38(2), 66-82. doi:10.1080/16506070802694776
Griffiths, F., Lindenmeyer, A., Powell, J., Lowe, P. and Thorogood, M. (2006) Why Are Health Care Interventions Delivered Over the Internet? A Systematic Review of the Published Literature. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 8, e10. http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/jmir.8.2.e10
Parsons T., & Rizzo, A. (2008). Affective outcomes of virtual reality exposure therapy for anxiety: A meta-analysis. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 39, 250–261.
Stapleton, P., Bannatyne, A., Porter, B., Urzi, K.C., & Sheldon, T. (2016a). Food for thought: A randomised controlled trial of emotional freedom techniques and cognitive behavioural therapy in the treatment of food cravings. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 8(2), 232-257. doi: 10.1111/aphw.12070.
Stapleton, P., Church, D., Sheldon, T., Porter, B., & Carlopio, C. (2013). Depression symptoms improve after successful weight loss with emotional freedom techniques. ISRN Psychiatry. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/573532