If you think that the younger generation are the only ones interested in using technology to improve their health, a recent study could prove you wrong.
‘The Use of Internet-Enabled Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety amongst Older People’ study, conducted by Ieso Digital Health, has revealed that the increasing number of internet access amongst overs 65s, means that the number of seniors now receiving online cognitive therapy (IECBT) in the UK is growing.
IECBT, which is a service provided by Ieso Digital Health, mirrors face-to-face therapy in that it involves real-time communication between therapist and patient in therapy sessions.
It can be done via typing in a secure virtual therapy room, helping patients who may be experiencing difficulties or distress between appointments.
The recent findings are due to be published in next month’s International Journal of Aging and Society and involved 300 participants aged over 65 years who were diagnosed with major depressive disorder.
Sarah Bateup chief clinical officer (CCO) at Ieso Digital Health and co-author of the study said it confirmed that digital health is not “just for millennials” but is something that is being embraced by the older generation.
“Online therapy (IECBT) offers an opportunity to reach older adults who are less likely to be referred for psychological therapy by their GP,” Bateup said.
“IECBT provides older people with an important new way to access mental health care as it removes the perceived stigma by conferring a greater sense of privacy and can be accessed from home which is particularly beneficial if a patient is physically unwell or if mobility or transportation is a barrier to attending appointments.”
Last month, Princes William and Harry along with Kate Middleton announced a £2 million investment to establish a new start-up to support innovative mental health digital tools.
The money has come from their charitable trust, The Royal Foundation and is the largest single grant ever given by the foundation since it began operating in 2011.
The aim is to help people find trusted information about their mental health and get help in times of need.