Effectiveness of Web-Delivered Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Relation to Mental Health and Well-Being: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Med Internet Res. 2016 Aug 24;18(8):e221. doi: 10.2196/jmir.6200.


Background: The need for effective interventions to improve mental health and emotional well-being at a population level are gaining prominence both in the United Kingdom and globally. Advances in technology and widespread adoption of Internet capable devices have facilitated rapid development of Web-delivered psychological therapies. Interventions designed to manage a range of affective disorders by applying diverse therapeutic approaches are widely available.

Objective: The main aim of this review was to evaluate the evidence base of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in a Web-based delivery format.

Method: A systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis was conducted. Two electronic databases were searched for Web-delivered interventions utilizing ACT for the management of affective disorders or well-being. Only Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) were included.

Results: The search strategy identified 59 articles. Of these, 10 articles met the inclusion criteria specified. The range of conditions and outcome measures that were identified limited the ability to draw firm conclusions about the efficacy of Web-delivered ACT-based intervention for anxiety or well-being.

Conclusions: ACT in a Web-based delivery format was found to be effective in the management of depression. Rates of adherence to study protocols and completion were high overall suggesting that this therapeutic approach is highly acceptable for patients and the general public.

Keywords: Internet-based; acceptance and commitment therapy; anxiety; depression; meta-analysis; mobile-based; quality of life; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Mental Health
  • Quality of Life