Videoconferencing psychotherapy: a systematic review

Psychol Serv. 2012 May;9(2):111-131. doi: 10.1037/a0027924.


Individuals with mental health problems may face barriers to accessing effective psychotherapies. Videoconferencing technology, which allows audio and video information to be shared concurrently across geographical distances, offers an alternative that may improve access. We conducted a systematic literature review of the use of videoconferencing psychotherapy (VCP), designed to address 10 specific questions, including therapeutic types/formats that have been implemented, the populations with which VCP is being used, the number and types of publications related to VCP, and available satisfaction, feasibility, and outcome data related to VCP. After electronic searches and reviews of reference lists, 821 potential articles were identified, and 65 were selected for inclusion. The results indicate that VCP is feasible, has been used in a variety of therapeutic formats and with diverse populations, is generally associated with good user satisfaction, and is found to have similar clinical outcomes to traditional face-to-face psychotherapy. Although the number of articles being published on VCP has increased in recent years, there remains a need for additional large-scale clinical trials to further assess the efficacy and effectiveness of VCP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Telecommunications*
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Telemedicine / trends