Evidence-based telehealth interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Marija S. Kelber*, Derek J. Smolenski, Courtney Boyd, Lisa M. Shank, Dawn M. Bellanti, Tiffany Milligan, Amanda Edwards-Stewart, Salvatore Libretto, Kelly Parisi, Maria A. Morgan, Daniel P. Evatt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: The goal of this systematic review was to examine the efficacy of behavioral health care treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety delivered via telehealth. Methods: We searched a combination of keywords related to telehealth, relevant mental health disorders, and evidence-based psychotherapies in three databases (PubMed, PsycInfo, and Embase) from database inception to April 2022. We included randomized controlled trials published in English wherein at least one arm received an evidence-based psychotherapy via telehealth. To be included, studies also had to enroll an adult population with symptoms or diagnosis of PTSD, depressive disorder, or anxiety disorder. Results: Moderate quality of evidence was consistent with only small differences, if any, in efficacy between video teleconferencing (VTC) and in-person delivery for patients with PTSD (d = 0.06, 95% CI −0.17, 0.28). However, for those with depression, in-person delivery was associated with better outcomes compared to VTC (d = 0.28, 95% CI 0.03, 0.54; low quality of evidence). We also found that evidence-based treatments delivered over telephone were more efficacious for depression compared to treatment as usual (d = -0.47, 95% CI −0.66, −0.28; very low quality of evidence). Very low quality of evidence supported the use of telehealth versus waitlist for anxiety (d = -0.48, 95% CI −0.89, −0.09). Conclusions: A synthesis across 29 studies indicates that the efficacy of telehealth for delivery of evidence-based behavioral health interventions varies by target diagnosis and telehealth modality. More research is needed on the efficacy of telehealth treatments for depression and anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
StateAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Telehealth
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • meta-analysis‌
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • systematic review


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