The use of e-health applications for anxiety and depression in young people: challenges and solutions


  • Declaration of conflict of interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Professor Helen Christensen, Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Building 63 Eggleston Road, Acton,ACT, Australia. Email:


Aim: E-health applications are effective. However, challenges to their uptake amongst youth need to be investigated. This paper aims to explore the barriers to the use of these programs by young people and the methods by which these barriers might be overcome.

Methods: Qualitative review of research literature.

Results: Barriers to the use of these programs included the difficulty in engaging young people in their use, perceptions that the programs have low adherence, and clinician concerns about their value, effectivenessand safety. Evidence to date suggests that more research is needed to understand the reasons more young people do not engage with them. However, adherence rates are reasonable when properly benchmarked and the applications can be appropriately implemented in clinical and educational settings.

Conclusions: Optimal methods for implementing these applications will require further targeted research.