Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that assessed use of ICT interventions for treatment of patients with depression were eligible for inclusion. Eligible studies were required to include at least 10 patients in each comparison group and present data on clinical outcomes, use of resources or satisfaction. Studies that used phone-based or preventive interventions were excluded.
Included studies were conducted in Canada, USA, Australia, Sweden and UK between 2001 and 2007. Study durations ranged from six weeks to six months. Patients had different types and stages of depression. Where reported, ages ranged from eight to 65 years. Interventions included cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), self-help programmes with minimal therapist support, telephone, postcard or online group discussions, delivered using videoconference, the Internet and integrated computer-telephone systems. Control groups received the following treatments: face-to-face therapy, usual care, minimal telephone support or waiting list with web-based group discussions.
It appears that two reviewers independently screened studies for inclusion. Discrepancies were resolved by consensus.