New research in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Internet Research underscores the efficacy of virtual therapy.
San Francisco, August 26, 2020 — New research published today in the Journal of Medical Internet Research shows clinically meaningful improvements in depression and anxiety for patients participating in Vida Health’s virtual therapy program.
The study, Digital Cognitive Behavior Therapy Intervention for Depression and Anxiety: Retrospective Study, examined the effectiveness of Vida’s app-based, therapist-driven Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) program in improving symptoms of depression and anxiety. The study found that after only three months of participation in Vida’s program, patients had an average depression reduction of 34%; at six months, patients saw reductions of 43%; and at nine months, reductions of 61%. A similar pattern of improvement was found for anxiety, with a 31% reduction at the end of three months, 49% reduction at six months, and a 55% reduction after nine months.
“Those of us on the forefront of virtual care have long believed that virtual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy could deliver truly measurable outcomes that are more convenient and more cost efficient than in-person visits,” said Vida Health Founder and CEO Stephanie Tilenius. “It’s great to see virtual mental health making significant impacts on people’s lives, especially during this difficult time. With the promise of immediate access to high quality care at lower cost for those suffering from anxiety and depression, these outcomes reinforce the need to double down on virtual care as we work to close America’s mental health care gap.”
The pandemic has highlighted the significant unmet need for mental health care, resulting in an eruption of demand. Payers and employers alike have seen an increase in demand for mental health since the onset of COVID-19. Payers are reporting telemedicine utilization for mental health up 56 times pre-COVID levels. Employers are also thinking about how to better support the mental health of their employees during this time. According to research from Willis Towers Watson, two in three employers plan to prioritize access to quality mental health care in 2021 and 80% of employers plan to offer or expand access to virtual mental health services. The spotlight that the pandemic has shone on the prevalence and importance of mental health has also shed light on the failings of the current system. With barriers including high cost, insufficient insurance coverage, geography, and the social stigma associated with mental care, many Americans are left without mental health services. Digital care innovations make personalized mental health care more accessible in a time when it is needed most.
“Mental health treatments have been slow to adapt to the changing world and as a result people are suffering,” said Vida Chief Clinical Officer Chris Mosunic, PhD. “It shouldn’t take an average of 25 days for someone to get in to see a therapist for the first time, nor should people in rural America have to drive more than 50 miles each way for an appointment. What’s so exciting about these digital CBT results is the promise that the future of mental health is more inclusive and more convenient to the millions of people who need care.”
The study looked at 136 participants from three Fortune 500 companies that offer the Vida Mental Health programs for depression and anxiety as a benefit to employees and their dependents. The participants had mild to moderately severe depression and/or anxiety and were enrolled in Vida’s three-month digital CBT program. The program included structured lessons and tools as well as daily text support and one-on-one weekly video or audio sessions with a licensed therapist for three months followed by regular text and support along with monthly therapy check-in sessions for one year. Clinically validated standard assessments—the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (GAD-7)—were used to assess depression and anxiety, respectively.
Vida’s on-demand mental health covers the full spectrum of subclinical to clinical mental health disorders from stress management and resilience to depression and anxiety. Vida also provides access to care navigators if members need an offline referral or medication management. Recognizing that mental and physical health challenges tend to go hand-in-hand, Vida’s mental health programs integrate seamlessly with Vida’s physical health programs for conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension through a product that was designed from the ground up to treat multiple conditions that may occur simultaneously in an individual or across any population.
In light of the positive outcomes and increased enrollment, Vida continues to scale to meet demand. The company’s 50-state network consists of more than 700 licensed providers with plans to double the network in the coming months. As of today, 1.5 million people have access to Vida through their employer or insurance benefits.
These meaningful mental health outcomes are the latest of multiple positive outcomes from Vida published in peer-reviewed publications. In April 2020, PLOS One published a paper on Vida’s weight management program achieving outcomes comparable to those of in-person interventions. Outcomes have also been published in American Heart Journal, JMIR Mhealth Uhealth, and The Psychological Record.
About Vida Health
Vida Health is a leading virtual care platform that was designed from the ground up to treat multiple chronic health conditions simultaneously, through a balance of machine learning that personalizes each person’s treatment and a human connection with real-life health coaches and therapists who bring the empathy and accountability people need to reach their goals. Vida Health’s services are delivered through a mobile platform that supports individuals in preventing, managing, and reversing chronic conditions such as prediabetes, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, depression, anxiety, etc. The platform integrates deep individual expert care with data-driven technology and remote patient monitoring to deliver best-in-class health outcomes and cost savings to employers and health plans. To date, some of the largest nationwide health plans and employers have benefited from Vida’s unique offering. Learn more at www.Vida.com.
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Venkatesan A, Rahimi L, Kaur M, Mosunic C. Digital Cognitive Behavior Therapy Intervention for Depression and Anxiety: Retrospective Study. JMIR Ment Health 2020;7(8):e21304. URL: http://mental.jmir.org/2020/8/e21304/.