Online, social media and mobile technologies for psychosis treatment: a systematic review on novel user-led interventions

Schizophr Res. 2014 Jun;156(1):96-106. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2014.03.021. Epub 2014 Apr 17.


Background: Internet and mobile-based interventions provide a unique opportunity to deliver cost-effective, accessible, time-unlimited support to people with psychosis. The aims of this study were to systematically compile and analyze the evidence on the acceptability, feasibility, safety and benefits of online and mobile-based interventions for psychosis.

Methods: Systematic review of peer-reviewed studies examining the usability, acceptability, feasibility, safety or efficacy of user-led, Internet or mobile-based interventions, with at least 80% of participants diagnosed with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.

Results: Of 38 potentially relevant articles, 12 were eligible for inclusion. Interventions included web-based psycho-education; web-based psycho-education plus moderated forums for patients and supporters; integrated web-based therapy, social networking and peer and expert moderation; web-based CBT; personalized advice based on clinical monitoring; and text messaging interventions. Results showed that 74-86% of patients used the web-based interventions efficiently, 75-92% perceived them as positive and useful, and 70-86% completed or were engaged with the interventions over the follow-up. Preliminary evidence indicated that online and mobile-based interventions show promise in improving positive psychotic symptoms, hospital admissions, socialization, social connectedness, depression and medication adherence.

Conclusions: Internet and mobile-based interventions for psychosis seem to be acceptable and feasible and have the potential to improve clinical and social outcomes. The heterogeneity, poor quality and early state of current research precludes any definite conclusions. Future research should investigate the efficacy of online and mobile interventions through controlled, well-powered studies, which investigate intervention and patient factors associated with take-up and intervention effects.

Keywords: Mobile; Online; Psychosis; Schizophrenia; Social media; Social networking.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone* / instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Internet* / instrumentation
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / therapy*
  • Social Networking*