Can I access problem-solving therapy using technology?

Problem solving therapy is an evidence based treatment that is often used in patients with depression. Computerized problem solving therapy has been studied and shown to be effective although challenges around ensuring patients stay engaged and complete online therapies must be considered. Most studies showing benefit of computerized problem solving therapy have high rates of engagement, so the evidence is largely from more motivated patients. If engagement is lower, for example in a smartphone delivered study of problem solving therapy – then the impact of the treatment will also be lower. Thus for a motivated or engaged patient, online problem solving therapy can be a useful tool.


Sandoval LR, Buckey JC, Ainslie R, Tombari M, Stone W, Hegel MT. Randomized controlled trial of a computerized interactive media-based problem solving treatment for depression. Behavior therapy. 2017 May 1;48(3):413-25.

Berman MI, Buckey Jr JC, Hull JG, Linardatos E, Song SL, McLellan RK, Hegel MT. Feasibility study of an interactive multimedia electronic problem solving treatment program for depression: a preliminary uncontrolled trial. Behavior therapy. 2014 May 1;45(3):358-75.

Arean PA, Hallgren KA, Jordan JT, Gazzaley A, Atkins DC, Heagerty PJ, Anguera JA. The use and effectiveness of mobile apps for depression: results from a fully remote clinical trial. Journal of medical Internet research. 2016;18(12):e330.

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