Internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy for children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Clin Psychol Rev. 2016 Dec;50:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2016.09.005. Epub 2016 Sep 20.


Internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy (ICBT) is a relatively novel treatment format with the potential to increase accessibility of evidence-based care. However, little is known about the feasibility and efficacy of ICBT in children and adolescents. We conducted a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of ICBT for children and adolescents to provide an overview of the field and assess the efficacy of these interventions. A systematic literature search of six electronic databases was performed to identify ICBT intervention studies for children with a psychiatric condition, such as social anxiety disorder, or a somatic condition, such as chronic pain. Two reviewers independently rated study quality. Twenty-five studies, targeting 11 different disorders, were included in the review. Study quality and presentation of treatment variables, such as therapist time and treatment adherence, varied largely. Twenty-four studies (N=1882) were included in the meta-analysis and ICBT yielded moderate between-group effect sizes when compared with waitlist, g=0.62, 95% CI [0.41, 0.84]. The results suggest that CBT for psychiatric and somatic conditions in children and adolescents can be successfully adapted to an internet-delivered format.

Keywords: Adolescent; Child; Cognitive behavior therapy; Internet; Meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Child
  • Chronic Pain / psychology
  • Chronic Pain / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Remote Consultation*
  • Treatment Outcome