E-health: an overview of the uses of the Internet, social media, apps, and websites for mood disorders


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Abstract

Purpose of reviewThe current article defines and surveys E-health: Internet and technology-guided interventions and tools useful for mood disorders.Recent findingsE-health encompasses many categories, including computerized self-help strategies, online psychotherapy, websites that provide information, social media approaches including Facebook, Internet forums for health discussions, personal blogs, and videogames. Multiple tools exist to assess and document symptoms, particularly mood charts. Although all of these approaches are popular, only online psychotherapy and videogames have actually been evaluated in studies to evaluate both validity and efficacy. The face validity of social communication strategies including social media and blogs is strong, with clear implications for stigma reduction and peer support. Informational websites continue to be primary sources of psychoeducation on mental disorders. Social media sites have widespread use by the public and a profusion of health discussions and tools, but without published research evaluation of efficacy.SummaryE-health strategies, particularly online psychotherapy and tools to document symptoms, are useful and likely effective. Social communication strategies show enormous popularity, but urgently require research evaluation for impact.

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