Telemedicine for Depression: A Systematic Review

Authors

  • Francisca García-Lizana,

    1. Francisca García-Lizana, MD, PhD, MSc in Health Care Quality Evaluation, is a senior adviser and Ingrid Muñoz-Mayorga, PsyD, is a fellow researcher, Health Technology Assessment Agency, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Science and Innovation Ministry, Madrid, Spain.
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  • Ingrid Muñoz-Mayorga

    1. Francisca García-Lizana, MD, PhD, MSc in Health Care Quality Evaluation, is a senior adviser and Ingrid Muñoz-Mayorga, PsyD, is a fellow researcher, Health Technology Assessment Agency, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Science and Innovation Ministry, Madrid, Spain.
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Author contact: francisca-rosario.garcia-lizana@ec.europa.eu, fglizana@hotmail.com, with a copy to the Editor: gpearson@uchc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE.  More than 14% of the population has a mood disorder, and more than 50% do not receive treatment. Information and communication technology (ICT) could improve health care. A systematic review was considered in order to know the programs that apply ICT in the management of depression and to assess their effectiveness.

CONCLUSION.  There is insufficient scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of ICT use in the management of depression. However, there is a well-founded hypothesis that videoconference produces the same results as face-to-face treatment and that self-help Internet programs could improve symptoms.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS.  More research is needed; nevertheless, when traditional care is not possible, telemedicine could be used.

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