Acceptability of cognitive-behaviour therapy via the Internet for cessation of benzodiazepine use

Parr, Jannette M., Kavanagh, David J., Young, Ross McD., & Mitchell, Geoffrey K. (2011) Acceptability of cognitive-behaviour therapy via the Internet for cessation of benzodiazepine use. Drug and Alcohol Review, 30(3), pp. 306-314.

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Introduction and Aims: Long-term use of benzodiazepines remains common, and conveys significant risk. Providing psychological intervention in association with gradual dose reduction increases cessation rates above dose reduction alone, but appropriate psychological support is difficult to obtain. This study was undertaken to assess the outcomes of an uncontrolled case series of an internet-based cognitive-behaviour therapy (I-CBT) for benzodiazepine cessation.

Design and Method: Users of benzodiazepines for > 3 months who wanted to reduce or cease benzodiazepines participated in the trial. They completed online assessments and accessed 13 newsletters on managing withdrawal symptoms and developing alternate ways to cope with life events. Therapist assistance was provided by email. Follow-up was at 3 and 6 months and feedback was obtained via comments and emails.

Results: Program ratings and emailed comments of the program were positive. Thirty-two people registered for the program and 14 (44%) completed a 6-month follow-up. Of these, 8 (57%) reduced weekly intake by at least half, including 5 (36%) who ceased use. Shorter duration of use and birth outside Australia predicted greater percentage reductions at 3 months, while being partnered and in paid employment predicted reductions at 6 months.

Discussion and Conclusion: While results were encouraging, controlled research is required to confirm the efficacy of the program, and engagement of both users and prescribers needs further attention.

Impact and interest:

8 citations in Scopus
7 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 49398
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Benzodiazepines , Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy , Internet, Self-Management, Substance-Related Disorders
DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2010.00183.x
ISSN: 0959-5236
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: © 2011 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at
Deposited On: 28 Mar 2012 22:17
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2012 13:37

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