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Digital Mental Health Interventions for Young People Are Perceived Promising, But Are They Effective?


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Artist's impression of a digital mental health intervention.

Research by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Spark Street Advisors has found an increasing number of digital mental health interventions are designed for adolescents and young people with a range of mental health issues, but the evidence on their effectiveness is mixed,

Credit: publichealth.columbia.edu

A study of digital mental health interventions for adolescents and young people found mixed results when it comes to their effectiveness.

Researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Spark Street Advisors performed 18 systematic reviews and meta-analyses of digital health interventions, and found that computerized cognitive behavioral therapy was effective for anxiety and depression in patients aged 10 to 24.

However, the findings were inconclusive for other digital interventions like therapeutic video games, mobile apps, and social networking sites.

The researchers indicated digital interventions could be useful when there is limited access to care or long wait times.

Further, they determined effectiveness was strengthened when health professionals, peers, or parents were engaged as part of the digital intervention.

From Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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