e-Mental health - A guide for GPs

Which patients are most suitable for e-mental health?
☰ Table of contents

Evidence has yet to identify ideal candidates for e-mental health.30

As a primary treatment pathway, e-mental health interventions are likely to be an appropriate option for people who have an increased risk of developing mental illness or mild to moderate symptoms of mental illness.24,31

There is less evidence for the use of e-mental health for certain populations, in part because research protocols typically exclude higher-risk groups from clinical trials. Alternatives or adjunctive treatment pathways should be considered for people who have:15,21,31,32

  • complex and/or severe mental illness
  • comorbid personality disorders and/or substance dependence
  • an elevated risk of self-harm or suicide and require urgent clinical management.

Practice tip

Although patients will need to have adequate literacy skills to use e-mental health interventions, various international programs are offered in a range of languages other than English.

  1. Andrews G, Williams AD. Up-scaling clinician assisted internet cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) for depression: a model for dissemination into primary care. Clin Psychol Rev 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2014.05.006.
  2. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Internet based or computerised CBT (iCBT or cCBT): depression and anxiety. The handbook of non-drug interventions (HANDI). Melbourne: RACGP, 2015.
  3. Andersson G, Titov N. Advantages and limitations of Internet-based interventions for common mental disorders. World Psychiatry 2014;13(1):4–11.
  4. Klein B. e-Interventions and psychology: time to log on. InPsych 2010;32(1):20–2.
  5. Handbook of Non Drug Interventions (HANDI) Project Team. Internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy for depression and anxiety. Aust Fam Physician 2013;42(11):803–04.
  6. Reynolds J, Griffiths K, Christensen H. Anxiety and depression – online resources and management tools. Aust Fam Physician 2011;40(6):382–86.