Technology and Mental Health: State of the Art for Assessment and Treatment

Am J Psychiatry. 2022 Dec 1;179(12):897-914. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.21121254. Epub 2022 Oct 6.


Technology is ubiquitous in society and is now being extensively used in mental health applications. Both assessment and treatment strategies are being developed and deployed at a rapid pace. The authors review the current domains of technology utilization, describe standards for quality evaluation, and forecast future developments. This review examines technology-based assessments of cognition, emotion, functional capacity and everyday functioning, virtual reality approaches to assessment and treatment, ecological momentary assessment, passive measurement strategies including geolocation, movement, and physiological parameters, and technology-based cognitive and functional skills training. There are many technology-based approaches that are evidence based and are supported through the results of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Other strategies are less well supported by high-quality evidence at present, but there are evaluation standards that are well articulated at this time. There are some clear challenges in selection of applications for specific conditions, but in several areas, including cognitive training, randomized clinical trials are available to support these interventions. Some of these technology-based interventions have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug administration, which has clear standards for which types of applications, and which claims about them, need to be reviewed by the agency and which are exempt.

Keywords: Assessment and Interviewing; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Bipolar and Related Disorders; Cognition/Learning/Memory; Depressive Disorders; Emotion; Neurodevelopmental Disorders; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); Psychotherapy; Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cognition Disorders*
  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic
  • Technology