A systematic review of technology-based psychotherapeutic interventions for decreasing cannabis use in patients with psychosis

Psychiatry Res. 2020 Jun;288:112940. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112940. Epub 2020 Apr 15.


Persistent use of cannabis in persons with psychosis is associated with poor symptomatic and functional outcomes and increased healthcare costs. Face-to-face psychological interventions (e.g., Cognitive Behavioral Therapy- [CBT], Motivation Enhancement Therapy- [MET]) are widely used in treating problematic cannabis use. We aimed to comprehensively review the efficacy of technology-based psychological interventions (TBPIs) in decreasing cannabis use, the design of TBPIs, and TBPI-related preferences in individuals with psychosis. For the systematic review, we searched six major databases from their inception to November 27, 2019. We included empirical articles of quantitative and qualitative methodologies related to TBPIs in individuals with psychosis and cannabis misuse and used narrative synthesis to report results. Only eight articles were found showing that technology-based motivational and psycho-education interventions and cognitive enhancement therapy were minimally efficient in achieving cannabis abstinence or decreasing frequency of use. Qualitative exploratory methods and participatory action research were used to elicit patient and clinician preferences and TBPIs were tailored accordingly to improve cannabis use related outcomes. Research on TBPIs in individuals with psychosis and cannabis misuse is in its early phases. A significant research effort is needed for the development of adapted interventions for CUD to capitalize on the potential of web-based applications.

Keywords: cannabis misuse; cannabis use disorder; e-Mental Health; internet-based intervention; psychosis; psychotherapy; web-based.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Hallucinogens / pharmacology
  • Hallucinogens / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / epidemiology
  • Marijuana Abuse / psychology
  • Marijuana Abuse / therapy*
  • Marijuana Smoking / epidemiology
  • Marijuana Smoking / psychology
  • Marijuana Smoking / therapy
  • Motivation / drug effects
  • Motivation / physiology
  • Motivational Interviewing / methods*
  • Psychotic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Psychotic Disorders / therapy*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*


  • Hallucinogens
  • Psychotropic Drugs