Efficacy and effectiveness of online cognitive behavioral treatment: a decade of interapy research

Jeroen Ruwaard, Alfred Lange, Bart Schrieken, Paul Emmelkamp

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Since 1996, researchers of the Interapy research group of the University of Amsterdam have been examining the effects of online cognitive behavioral treatment (online CBT). Over the years, the group conducted nine controlled trials of online CBT for a variety of mental health disorders, among a total of 840 participants. These studies suggest that online CBT is a viable and effective alternative to face-to-face treatment. Treatment adherence was 82%, and reductions in psychopathology represented a large between-group effect size of SMD = 0.9 (95% CI: .7 to 1.1), which was maintained over long periods. The research culminated in the foundation of the Interapy clinic, which received Dutch health regulatory body approval in 2005. Since then, costs of online CBT are reimbursed through public health insurance. A large study of the treatment outcome of 1,500 patients of the Interapy clinic showed that effects in clinical practice are similar to those observed in the controlled trials, and comparable to selected benchmarks of naturalistic studies of face-to-face CBT. The accumulated evidence provides compelling support for the efficacy and effectiveness of online CBT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-14
Number of pages6
JournalStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health, Reimbursement
  • Internet
  • Mental Health Services
  • Patient Compliance
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Telemedicine
  • User-Computer Interface
  • Journal Article


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