Computer-based treatment programs for youth anxiety: a systematic review

Donovan, Caroline L. and March, Sonja (2014) Computer-based treatment programs for youth anxiety: a systematic review. Psychopathology Review, 1 (1). pp. 130-156.


The primary aim of this review was to determine whether computer-based therapy programs are able to produce a reduction in youth anxiety. Secondary aims were to examine the treatment components and level of therapist assistance inherent to these programs. Searches were conducted using the Web of Knowledge and manuscript quality was assessed using the Effective Public Health Practice Project (EPHPP) Tool. Eleven studies assessing six different computer-based anxiety treatment programs fulfilled the criteria. It was found that programs comprising a variety of CBT anxiety management strategies and which included exposure therapy (BRAVE, Cool Teens and Camp Cope-A-Lot), were able to produce reductions diagnostic status, severity and self-reported anxiety symptoms. However, those programs being trialled in terms of their ability to reduce both anxiety and depression symptoms or which focused on a single CBT strategy (and which did not include exposure), were not as successful in reducing youth anxiety. Furthermore, higher levels of therapist assistance seemed to be associated with better treatment outcomes. In relation to other measures, computer-based programs were generally found to improve levels of overall functioning and internalising problems, but the results for self-rated depression and other measures were inconsistent. Computer-based therapy is an exciting and progressive area of research, with numerous avenues for extension and advancement.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2014 Textrum Ltd. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology, Counselling and Community
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2015 05:02
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2017 01:16
Uncontrolled Keywords: youth; anxiety; computer; treatment; systematic review
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110319 Psychiatry (incl. Psychotherapy)
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services
Identification Number or DOI: 10.5127/pr.033613

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