Published in

MDPI, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 1(17), p. 153, 2019

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17010153



Export citation

Search in Google Scholar

Is Digital Treatment the Holy Grail? Literature Review on Computerized and Blended Treatment for Depressive Disorders in Youth

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

Full text: Download

Green circle
Preprint: archiving allowed
Green circle
Postprint: archiving allowed
Green circle
Published version: archiving allowed
Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


Computerized and blended treatments seem to be an attractive treatment for adolescents as an alternative to face-to-face treatment, but mental health professionals seem hesitant to use these treatment modalities. This review provides an overview of factors contributing to and withholding from using computerized or blended treatment in routine care. Three databases were searched with terms related to (1) adolescents, (2) depression, (3) computerized or blended, and (4) treatment. Of the 33 articles identified, 10 focused on unguided computerized treatments, six on guided, two on blended, two compared unguided, blended- and face-to-face treatment to no treatment, and eight studies on games. Further, two articles that were focused on an online monitoring tool and three on intervention characteristics or preferred modes of help-seeking. Evidence for effectiveness, adherence, drop-out, and forming therapeutic relations were suspected to be barriers, but are no reason to reject computerized or blended treatment. Improvement in mental health literacy and the possibility to tailor the intervention are facilitators. However, adolescents’ intention to seek help, acceptability of computerized treatment, symptom severity, time spent by therapist, and other facilities are identified as barriers and they need to be taken into account when using computerized or blended interventions. Nevertheless, computerized and blended are promising treatments for depressed youth.