Internet and mobile interventions for depression: Opportunities and challenges

Pim Cuijpers*, Annet Kleiboer, Eirini Karyotaki, Heleen Riper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: The Internet offers several new ways of developing, implementing, and disseminating evidence-based interventions for depression. Methods: In this paper, we narratively synthesized the evidence showing that Internet-based therapies are effective in treating depression. Results: In the past decade, a considerable number of psychological treatments have been developed for the treatment of depression and several hundreds of randomized controlled trials have been conducted, showing that these interventions are effective and that there are no major differences in effects between therapies. Several meta-analyses show that Internet-based treatments are also effective in depression. Direct comparisons with face-to-face treatments do not indicate that there are relevant differences between Internet-based and face-to-face treatment formats. The challenge for the near future is to examine how these treatments can be integrated in mental health care. Major opportunities are in preventive services, primary care, specialized mental health care, and in patients with comorbid general medical disorders. New technological innovations through the smartphone, serious gaming, avatars, augmented reality, and virtual reality will give further possibilities to simplify and perhaps increase the effects of treatments. Conclusions: The Internet offers many possibilities to increase access to evidence-based psychological treatments of depression. New technological may further improve access and, perhaps, the effects of treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-602
Number of pages7
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Volume34
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

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