Telehealth interventions for schizophrenia-spectrum disorders and clinical high-risk for psychosis individuals: A scoping review

J Telemed Telecare. 2020 Jan-Feb;26(1-2):14-20. doi: 10.1177/1357633X18794100. Epub 2018 Aug 22.


Background: Despite its increased use in mental health, both health care provision by telehealth and research are in the early stages. Videoconferencing, a telehealth subfield, has been mainly used for the medication management and delivery of psychological treatments for mood, adjustment and anxiety disorders, and to a lesser extent for psychotic disorders.

Objectives: The focus of this scoping review is on studies using videoconferencing for intervention for individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia-spectrum disorder and those who may be considered to be in the very early stages of psychosis (clinical high risk). The aim of this review is to assess the feasibility, acceptability and clinical benefits of videoconferencing interventions and compare them with face-to-face interventions for this population.

Methods: A scoping review of peer-reviewed original research on the use of videoconferencing for intervention purposes in individuals with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder or at clinical high risk.

Results: Out of 13,750 citations, 60 articles were retrieved for detailed evaluation, resulting in 14 eligible studies (N = 439 individuals). There was no study reporting on videoconferencing interventions for individuals at clinical high risk. All the studies reported that videoconferencing implementation was feasible, and most of them described high acceptance by individuals with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder. However, selection bias of studies was high, and overall methodological quality was poor.

Conclusion: Videoconferencing interventions seem feasible for participants with schizophrenia-spectrum disorder who showed high acceptance of this intervention modality.

Keywords: Clinical high-risk; schizophrenia-spectrum; scoping review; telehealth; videoconferencing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychotic Disorders / therapy*
  • Schizophrenia / therapy*
  • Social Support*
  • Telemedicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Videoconferencing / statistics & numerical data*