Research Topic

Self-directed Prevention and Recovery: E-health Interventions in Addiction Science

About this Research Topic

Considering the global burden of addictive disorders and taking into account the high rates of untreated patients due to the fear of stigma, time restraints, financial barriers or the limited number of addiction treatment units (e.g. approx. 90% in case of alcohol use disorder), the relevance of e-health/m-health interventions that may reach and help this hidden population is beyond question. Given this and how rapidly this research field is expanding, it is timely and of utmost importance to provide an elaborate overview on the efficacy (including the benefits and limitations) and feasibility of such programs. Furthermore, it is also pertinent to assess the attitudes towards e-health interventions from both the clients and the treatment providers’ side, not only in the case of substance use disorders (SUD) but also regarding the most frequently occurring behavioral addictions (e.g. pathological gambling, internet addiction, hypersexuality).

The primary goal of this Research Topic is to share knowledge with researchers and clinical practitioners regarding: 1) the history of e-health, 2) its broad concept and terminology (including iCBT: internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy, gamification, etc), 3) applied methodology, 4) its current potential and its current barriers in the case of clients with and without comorbid psychopathologies (in terms of efficacy, availability, cost-effectiveness), 5) the attitude towards e-health and finally 6) the future of e-health and further directions for this emerging field. Considering the efficacy of e-health interventions, this Research Topic aims to separately cover the fields of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. By providing a thorough overview on the past, present and future of e-health as a treatment for addiction, we expect to establish both theoretical and empirical basis for the development, implementation and evaluation of more efficacious e-health programs for the field.

This Research Topic welcomes and encourages submissions addressing the following themes:

1) The history of e-health: including trends in availability and research interest towards these types of interventions. Article type: review

2) The concept and terminology of e-health: including overviews on the conceptual background of the research area and studies introducing its major terms, including iCBT, gamification or self-directedness. Article type: review

3) Applied methodology: in terms of e-health research (e.g. ecological momentary assessment, real-time tracking of mental health status) and intervention (e.g. e-Consultation, e-diaries, pop-up messages, tailored feedbacks). Article type: review

4) The Potential of e-health and barriers to its implementation: including efficacy, cost-effectiveness (economic evaluation) and limitations of primary, secondary and tertiary e-health interventions for both SUD and behavioral addictions. Article type: original research – e.g. randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, case-control studies, economic evaluation studies assessing efficacy and effectiveness of e-health interventions

5) Attitudes towards e-health: presenting the acceptance or rejection of e-health interventions from both the clients and the providers’ side. Article type: original research – both explorative qualitative studies (e.g. using focus groups, semi-structured interviews) and quantitative studies (e.g. cross-sectional studies using face-to-face or web-based surveys) are welcomed

6) Current research into e-health and addiction: an overview on the presence of the research field regarding the e-treatment or management of the most frequently occurring addictive disorders, including alcohol use disorder, smoking, cannabis use disorder (and synthetic cannabinoid use disorder), stimulant use disorders (including novel stimulant drugs), pathological gambling, internet use disorder or hypersexuality. Article type: systematic reviews, meta-analysis

7) Future of e-health in addiction: presenting state-of-the-art methods to be come and further developed (e.g. progression of virtual reality techniques). Article type: review

The Topic Editors would like to acknowledge Mónika Gyuró for providing the cover image.


Keywords: E-health, Addiction, Gamification, Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Self-directed


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Considering the global burden of addictive disorders and taking into account the high rates of untreated patients due to the fear of stigma, time restraints, financial barriers or the limited number of addiction treatment units (e.g. approx. 90% in case of alcohol use disorder), the relevance of e-health/m-health interventions that may reach and help this hidden population is beyond question. Given this and how rapidly this research field is expanding, it is timely and of utmost importance to provide an elaborate overview on the efficacy (including the benefits and limitations) and feasibility of such programs. Furthermore, it is also pertinent to assess the attitudes towards e-health interventions from both the clients and the treatment providers’ side, not only in the case of substance use disorders (SUD) but also regarding the most frequently occurring behavioral addictions (e.g. pathological gambling, internet addiction, hypersexuality).

The primary goal of this Research Topic is to share knowledge with researchers and clinical practitioners regarding: 1) the history of e-health, 2) its broad concept and terminology (including iCBT: internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy, gamification, etc), 3) applied methodology, 4) its current potential and its current barriers in the case of clients with and without comorbid psychopathologies (in terms of efficacy, availability, cost-effectiveness), 5) the attitude towards e-health and finally 6) the future of e-health and further directions for this emerging field. Considering the efficacy of e-health interventions, this Research Topic aims to separately cover the fields of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. By providing a thorough overview on the past, present and future of e-health as a treatment for addiction, we expect to establish both theoretical and empirical basis for the development, implementation and evaluation of more efficacious e-health programs for the field.

This Research Topic welcomes and encourages submissions addressing the following themes:

1) The history of e-health: including trends in availability and research interest towards these types of interventions. Article type: review

2) The concept and terminology of e-health: including overviews on the conceptual background of the research area and studies introducing its major terms, including iCBT, gamification or self-directedness. Article type: review

3) Applied methodology: in terms of e-health research (e.g. ecological momentary assessment, real-time tracking of mental health status) and intervention (e.g. e-Consultation, e-diaries, pop-up messages, tailored feedbacks). Article type: review

4) The Potential of e-health and barriers to its implementation: including efficacy, cost-effectiveness (economic evaluation) and limitations of primary, secondary and tertiary e-health interventions for both SUD and behavioral addictions. Article type: original research – e.g. randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, case-control studies, economic evaluation studies assessing efficacy and effectiveness of e-health interventions

5) Attitudes towards e-health: presenting the acceptance or rejection of e-health interventions from both the clients and the providers’ side. Article type: original research – both explorative qualitative studies (e.g. using focus groups, semi-structured interviews) and quantitative studies (e.g. cross-sectional studies using face-to-face or web-based surveys) are welcomed

6) Current research into e-health and addiction: an overview on the presence of the research field regarding the e-treatment or management of the most frequently occurring addictive disorders, including alcohol use disorder, smoking, cannabis use disorder (and synthetic cannabinoid use disorder), stimulant use disorders (including novel stimulant drugs), pathological gambling, internet use disorder or hypersexuality. Article type: systematic reviews, meta-analysis

7) Future of e-health in addiction: presenting state-of-the-art methods to be come and further developed (e.g. progression of virtual reality techniques). Article type: review

The Topic Editors would like to acknowledge Mónika Gyuró for providing the cover image.


Keywords: E-health, Addiction, Gamification, Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Self-directed


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

18 June 2020 Abstract
28 October 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

18 June 2020 Abstract
28 October 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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