Update on Cyber Health Psychology: Virtual Reality and Mobile Health Tools in Psychotherapy, Clinical Rehabilitation, and Addiction Treatment

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Mar 16;19(6):3516. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19063516.


(1) Background: we investigated and analyzed the most recent implementations of technology in the fields of psychotherapy, clinical rehabilitation, and addiction treatment. (2) Methods: from December 2021 to January 2022, we conducted a review aimed at identifying the recent implementations of technology in cyber health psychology, with particular reference to Virtual Reality in psychotherapy, mHealth tools in clinical rehabilitation, and smartphone applications in the treatment of addiction to substances of abuse, searching for relevant studies in the databases PubMed, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Health & Medical Collection, and APA PsycArticles. (3) Results: the tools analyzed are in constant development and are increasingly used, with good results, and further technological progress could lead to even better treatment outcomes; as far as mHealth tools and smartphone applications are concerned, anti-smoking Apps are the most widespread, followed by those for the treatment of alcohol use disorder, and there is no presence of Apps for the treatment of heroin, cocaine, or crack addiction. (4) Conclusions: the results of the review indicate that these technological tools are increasingly used and are, in principle, effective and have numerous advantages, including low cost and versatility.

Keywords: Virtual Reality; addiction; addiction treatment; clinical rehabilitation; cyber health psychology; mCessation; mHealth; psychology; smartphone applications; smoking cessation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavioral Medicine*
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Psychotherapy
  • Smartphone
  • Telemedicine* / methods
  • Virtual Reality*