Internet- and Mobile-Based Interventions for Mental and Somatic Conditions in Children and Adolescents

Internet- and Mobile-Based Interventions for Mental and Somatic Conditions in Children and Adolescents

Domhardt, M. Steubl, L. Baumeister, H.
Zeitschrift fur Kinder-und Jugendpsychiatrie und Psychotherapie
This meta-review integrates the current meta-analysis literature on the efficacy of internet- and mobile-based interventions (IMIs) for mental disorders and somatic diseases in children and adolescents. Further, it summarizes the moderators of treatment effects in this age group. Using a systematic literature search of PsycINFO and MEDLINE/PubMed, we identified eight meta-analyses (N = 8,417) that met all inclusion criteria. Current meta-analytical evidence of IMIs exists for depression (range of standardized mean differences, SMDs = .16 to .76; 95 % CI: -.12 to 1.12; k = 3 meta-analyses), anxiety (SMDs = .30 to 1.4; 95 % CI: -.53 to 2.44; k = 5) and chronic pain (SMD = .41; 95 % CI: .07 to .74; k = 1) with predominantly nonactive control conditions (waiting-list; placebo). The effect size for IMIs across mental disorders reported in one meta-analysis is SMD = 1.27 (95 % CI: .96 to 1.59; k = 1), the effect size of IMIs for different somatic conditions is SMD = .49 (95 % CI: .33 to .64; k = 1). Moderators of treatment effects are age (k = 3), symptom severity (k = 1), and source of outcome assessment (k = 1). Quality ratings with the AMSTAR-2-checklist indicate acceptable methodological rigor of meta-analyses included. Taken together, this meta-review suggests that IMIs are efficacious in some health conditions in youths, with evidence existing primarily for depression and anxiety so far. The findings point to the potential of IMIs to augment evidence based mental healthcare for children and adolescents.

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Type of intervention

Treatment and Child Welfare Interventions


Mental Health Problems and Disorders

Emotional Problems

Depression and Depressed Mood

Anxiety Problems

Anxiety and Anxiousness


The organization of interventions

E-health interventions

Age group

Preschool Aged Children (3-5 years)

School Aged Children (6-12 years)

Adolescents (13-18 years)

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