Top Story, Startups

Talkspace’s text-based therapy proves to be beneficial for patients

How can text message-based therapy provide better outcomes for patients who are unable to receive face-to-face treatment?

We recently profiled the tele-therapy company Talkspace and their focus on providing text message-based care as an alternative to in-person therapy.

Turns out the services are proving to be very beneficial to users.

The company’s focus not only stems from the convenience and practicality of real-time contact with a therapist via a mobile device and cost effectiveness, but also the impact this type of service can have for those who are not comfortable or even able to attend scheduled sessions face-to-face.

Thomas D. Hull, from Columbia University, has put together some of the first findings on the impact that Talkspace, in particular, has had on patients involved with this new format.

For the analysis, 58 individuals were pooled who had been recruited to use the service for just less than four months in order to match the 12 to 16 week standard of therapy research. They self-reported progress and outcomes.

What Hull found was that 90 percent of those who received text therapy were doing better on average than those who received no treatment. Other numbers appear to be promising as well.

The study admittedly had limitations with its sample group, but overall the results imply that text message-based therapy has unique benefits for those in need of treatment.

As the report concluded:

Preliminary findings for the effectiveness of text therapy provided by Talkspace are promising. Strong, positive outcomes have been identified for this sample, and there is good evidence for acceptable levels of working alliance between clients and their text therapists. The quality of working alliance is also correlated with positive outcome as expected given previous research on traditional psychotherapy.