e-Mental health - A guide for GPs


Keeping patients engaged over time
☰ Table of contents


Research shows that e-mental health treatment is most likely to be successful when the patient has some level of additional support from a clinician,11 although the optimal amount of therapist contact is uncertain.57

Simply reminding patients to use the service periodically might improve the individual’s chances of following the treatment through to completion.58–60 Reminders might take the form of a brief phone call, postcard, SMS or email. GPs might arrange for the practice nurse to make contact with the patient shortly after engagement to check progress and address any technical problems in accessing the service.

GPs considering the use of an automated reminder system should refer to the following RACGP resources:


Practice tip


In addition to reminding patients to log in, GPs might also provide prompts to complete ‘homework’ activities, make an appointment at the clinic to review progress, or print out material from the program to discuss at the next appointment.

  1. Spek V, Cuijpers P, Nyklicek I, Riper H, Keyzer J, Pop V. Internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy for symptoms of depression and anxiety: a meta-analysis. Psychol Med 2007;37(3):319–28.
  2. Palmqvist B, Carlbring P, Andersson G. Internet-delivered treatments with or without therapist input: does the therapist factor have implications for efficacy and cost? Expert Rev of Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res 2007;7(3):291–97.
  3. Clarke G, Eubanks D, Reid E, et al. Overcoming depression on the internet (ODIN) (2): a randomized trial of a self-help depression skills program with reminders. J Med Internet Res 2005;7(2):e16.
  4. Titov N, Dear BF, Johnston L, et al. Improving adherence and clinical outcomes in self-guided internet treatment for anxiety and depression: randomised controlled trial. PLoS ONE 2013;8(7):e62873.
  5. Musiat P, Tarrier N. Collateral outcomes in e-mental health: a systematic review of the evidence for added benefits of computerized cognitive behavior therapy interventions for mental health. Psychol Med 2014;44(15):3137–50.