Efficacy of synchronous telepsychology interventions for people with anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and adjustment disorder: A rapid evidence assessment

Psychol Serv. 2019 Nov;16(4):621-635. doi: 10.1037/ser0000239. Epub 2018 May 28.


Telepsychology holds promise as a treatment delivery method that may increase access to services as well as reduce barriers to treatment accessibility. The aim of this rapid evidence assessment was to assess the evidence for synchronous telepsychology interventions for 4 common mental health conditions (depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and adjustment disorder). Randomized controlled trials published between 2005 and 2016 that investigated synchronous telepsychology (i.e., telephone delivered, video teleconference delivered, or Internet delivered text based) were identified through literature searches. From an initial yield of 2,266 studies, 24 were included in the review. Ten studies investigated the effectiveness of telephone-delivered interventions, 11 investigated the effectiveness of video teleconference (VTC) interventions, 2 investigated Internet-delivered text-based interventions, and 2 were reviews of multiple telepsychology modalities. There was sufficient evidence to support VTC and telephone-delivered interventions for mental health conditions. The evidence for synchronous Internet-delivered text-based interventions was ranked as "unknown." Telephone-delivered and VTC-delivered psychological interventions provide a mode of treatment delivery that can potentially overcome barriers and increase access to psychological interventions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjustment Disorders / therapy*
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychotherapy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Telemedicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Telephone / statistics & numerical data*
  • Videoconferencing / statistics & numerical data*