Despite growing research in the past two decades involving Internet-supported or online mental health interventions, there has been only a few attempts to provide a synthesis of the research findings and future trends. The Internet has grown exponentially during this time, providing greater access to a wider population than ever before. Consequently, online mental health interventions have the potential to be cost-effective, convenient, and reach a more diverse population than traditional, face-to-face interventions. This paper reviews and summarizes the current research for online mental health interventions and discusses future trends. These interventions range from psychoeducational static webpages and complex, personalized, interactive cognitive-behavioral-based self-help programs, to videoconferencing, self-help support groups, blogging, and professional-led online therapy. Future trends in online interventions include the greater prevalence of online therapy and the use of video chat and videoconferencing technologies to enhance and extend the therapeutic relationship. The use of texting or short message service (SMS), mobile communications, smart phone applications, gaming, and virtual worlds extends the intervention paradigm into new environments not always previously considered as intervention opportunities. We find that there is strong evidence to support the effective use and future development of a variety of online mental health applications.
- online intervention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences (all)
- Computer Networks and Communications