Author ORCID Identifier
Depression Research and Treatment
Virtual treatment, online therapy, face-to-face therapy, in person treatment, non-inferiority hypothesis, telehealth, telemedicine, CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy, depression, depressove disorders, gender, men's mental health, mental health inequities, meta-analysis, rapid review, systematic review, COVID-19, pandemic, social class, racialized groups, low-income, poverty
Global rates of depression have increased significantly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is unclear how the recent shift of many mental health services to virtual platforms has impacted service users, especially for the male population which are significantly more likely to complete suicide than women. This paper presents the findings of a rapid meta-analytic research synthesis of 17 randomized controlled trials on the relative efficacy of virtual versus traditional face-to-face cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in mitigating symptoms of depression. Participants’ aggregated depression scores were compared upon completion of the therapy (posttest) and longest follow-up measurement. The results supported the noninferiority hypothesis indicating that the two modes of CBT delivery are equally efficacious, but the results proved to be significantly heterogeneous indicating the presence of moderating effects. Indirect suggestive evidence was found to support moderation by gender; that is, depressed males may benefit more from virtual CBT. Perhaps, this field’s most telling descriptive finding was that boys/men have been grossly underrepresented in its trials. Future trials ought to oversample those who have been at this field’s margins to advance the next generation of knowledge, allowing us to best serve people of all genders, those who live in poverty, Indigenous, Black, and other Peoples of Colour, as well as any others at risk of being marginalized or oppressed in contemporary mental health care systems.
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Charron, Carly M. and Gorey, Kevin M.. (2022). Virtual versus Face-to-Face Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Depression: Meta-Analytic Test of a Noninferiority Hypothesis and Men’s Mental Health Inequities. Depression Research and Treatment, 2022.
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