Are we there yet?!-a literature review of recent digital technology advances for the treatment of early psychosis

Mhealth. 2020 Jan 5:6:3. doi: 10.21037/mhealth.2019.09.14. eCollection 2020.


Access to psychological interventions during early stages of psychosis is essential for ameliorating outcomes and improving prognosis. However, reaching and engaging individuals at these stages of the illness can be very challenging for early intervention teams. Recent digital technological advances have emerged to overcome some of these challenges and to improve access to psychological interventions. The aim of the present literature review is to summarise main findings of relevant studies published during the last 10 years on the utilization of digital technologies (i.e., virtual reality, smartphone technology and web-based interventions) to enhance psychological treatment outcomes in early psychosis. A literature search from January 2009 to June 2019 was performed to identify relevant papers. Of 1,502 studies identified, nine met inclusion criteria for the review and only five presented results from finalised trials. Overall, these studies showed positive feasibility and acceptability results, along with preliminary evidence of improved therapy outcomes. The present review offers a state-of-the-art summary of the main features of these user-centered digital interventions for early stages of psychosis and a critical discussion about their future implementation in mental health services.

Keywords: Early psychosis; digital intervention; mHealth; mobile app; online; virtual reality.

Publication types

  • Review