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 from any location. Telemental health (or “ehealth”) 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 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. This topic includes apps for PTSD and distance-delivered interventions. Please also see the individual therapy tables for additional information.

What is the evidence for telemental health?

Moderate quality evidence found medium-sized improvements in PTSD and depression symptoms and functioning pre-post treatment with distance-delivered interventions (mostly CBT), which was maintained for up to 12 months post-treatment. PTSD, depression, and functioning were also improved post-treatment with distance-delivered interventions compared to waitlist controls. Compared to face-to-face interventions (mostly CBT), there were no differences in PTSD symptoms post-treatment, but face-to-face interventions performed better than distance-delivered interventions at 3-6 months follow-up. Depression symptoms improved more with face-to-face interventions immediately post-treatment but not at follow-up.

Moderate to high quality evidence found a medium-sized improvement in PTSD and depression symptoms with smartphone-based apps pre-post treatment. When compared to waitlist controls, there were no significant differences in PTSD symptoms.

Moderate quality evidence found the following apps were rated in the top quartile of the Mobile App Rating Scale (>3.73 total score, in descending order of quality rating): PTSD Family Coach, CoachPTBS, Together Strong, PTSD Coach, Mood Coach, STAIR Coach, VetChange, PE Coach2, Trauma Recovery, Reachout My Support Network, DoD Safe Helpline, Elevatr – Therapists & Peers, PTSD Coach Australia, Youper – Anxiety & Depression, Living Well, PTSD Test, T2 Mood Tracker, Quiet Relaxation & Wellness, and CPT Coach.

August 2021

Image: ©Romolo Tavani – stock.adobe.com

Last updated at: 6:31 am, 29th July 2021
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

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