(UPI) -- Cognitive therapy given over the phone is just as effective as meeting face-to-face for psychotherapy, researchers in Britain say.
Professor Peter Jones of the University of Cambridge, who led the study, and colleagues found therapy over the phone increases access to psychological therapies for people with common mental disorders and saves money.
The researchers analyzed data from 39,000 patients in seven established therapy services.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found for all but an infrequent, identifiable clinical group with more severe illness, therapy over the phone was as effective as face-to-face and the cost per session was 36.2 percent lower.
"Providing therapy over the phone will not only help individuals gain much-needed access to mental health treatment, it will provide a more cost effective way of providing these services at a time when we have to be innovative and efficient," Jones said in a statement.
There are many reasons therapy might be best provided over the phone such as patients might be unable to access health services due to transportation problems, work commitments or physical disability, Jones said.
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