About this Research Topic
Mental health and physical health are equally important components of overall health. Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental illness increases the risk of many types of physical and health-related problems. As technology has become more accessible, researchers and developers started to use various technological devices such as smartphones, sensors, Virtual Reality (VR) and wearables to prevent, assess, and treat various mental health problems. Currently, the use of mental health care novel technologies is on the rise. The main benefits are increased accessibility, the possibility of adding engaging content coupled with real-time monitoring, and feedback. Novel mental health technology-based applications have the advantages of creating content that is easily modifiable and can be tailored to individual needs. Because currently much pressure is being put into the public health systems to increase access to care of patients, developing technology-driven solutions that can be used remotely by patients and caregivers have the great potential to increase the accessibility of treatments. On the other hand, since technology is being developed and released on the market at an unprecedentedly fast pace, there is a need to evaluate the evidence that supports its use in the assessment, treatment, and management of mental health conditions.
Since technology is gaining much support within the community and various systems have become more affordable, a revolution in mental health care is imminent. Researchers, developers and practitioners, and health care specialists started to embrace digital solutions and shape this domain so that it could offer sustainable, valid, and evidence-based solutions for mental health and psychiatric rehabilitation. Over the last decade, there is a concern regarding the way novel technology can be used for children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly, for improving their mental health, for assessment or intervention. We highlight the need for more rigorous studies that can prove the effectiveness of digital solutions. We also acknowledge the importance of assessing and updating evidence-based practices in this domain derived from methodologically sound studies. It is often the case that studies reported mixed findings for various types of technological devices in terms of their effectiveness. Other technology-driven mental health care interventions still await further empirical studies to test for their clinical effectiveness. To cover this gap, we still need to answer the following questions:
• Are there any specific populations that benefit the most from technological advances?
• Is there a right amount of combination between standard interventions and those delivered through technology?
• How do digital mental health programs impact the lives of their beneficiaries in different life domains?
We aim to identify the current status of technology-based applications for mental health care, and how digital mental health assessment and intervention solutions work across different platforms and types of delivery.
This Research Topic welcomes empirical or review papers that present the state of research to predict and advise future directions in the field of digital mental health. Submissions which cover experimental studies that assess the clinical efficacy of the assessment protocols or intervention strategies delivered via novel digital technologies are also invited. We also welcome user experience studies as well as single-case experiments studies that test the efficacy or effectiveness of various technological platforms in the mental health area. This Research Topic may include, but is not limited to:
• Digital mental health
• Therapeutic use of mobile applications
• Mental health promotion and awareness
• Effectiveness of technological tools in mental health
• VR for rehabilitation, treatment, or optimization
• Online therapy for mental health
• Psychological assessment via the internet
• Serious games for mental health
• Technology facilitated diagnostic
• Digital phenotyping
Keywords: digital mental health, technology, e-mental health, teletherapy, assessment and rehabilitation, psychological interventions
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.