Telemental health

What is telemental health?

There is a growing need to deliver low-cost treatments tailored to individual needs and delivered in a continuous way (e.g. all year long) from any location. Telemental health has the potential to meet this need. Telemental health refers to any mental health treatment that is provided electronically, either by telephone or internet such as via online health programs, or video conferencing. This type of intervention involves structured counselling and generally aims to increase medication adherence and prevent relapse. Importantly, it also removes geographic barriers to care.

What is the evidence for telemental health?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests good retention with the Bipolar Education and Recovery Road programs, with no additional benefits for symptoms over treatment as usual. There were improvements in symptoms, particularly mania symptoms with the Mood Swings program, improvements in depression with the Personalized Real-Time Intervention for Stabilizing Mood (PRISM) mobile program over the short-term, but over not the longer term (24+ weeks), and improvements in quality of life, functioning and well-being with the Living With Bipolar program.

Low quality evidence is unable to determine the benefits of My Recovery Plan, Beating Bipolar, Parenting Self-help Interventions, MoodChart, Online Recovery-focused Bipolar Individual Therapy (ORBIT), Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT), and Improving Adherence in Bipolar Disorder (IABD).

November 2021

Image: ©Maksim Kabakou – Fotolia –

Last updated at: 5:01 pm, 8th November 2021
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Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.