Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of internet-based or computerised psychological treatments versus noncomputerised psychological interventions or control in adults with depression (with or without anxiety) were eligible for inclusion. Trials of patients with comorbid medical or psychological conditions were included. Depression could be established with a diagnostic interview or elevated levels of depressive symptoms based on self-reported measures. Trials on in-patients or children (<18 years) were excluded. Component studies were included.
The included trials compared internet-based/computerised psychological interventions (predominantly internet-based cognitive-behavioural therapy) with control or face-to-face psychological interventions in adults with depression. Depression prior to trial entry was established in a variety of ways, although most studies did not include a diagnosis based on a formal diagnostic interview. Most trials were conducted in adults in the community. Trial durations, where reported, ranged from five to 11 weeks. Most trials provided additional therapist support, including help at the beginning and/or end of the trial and additional contact via face-to-face, email, telephone or postcard. The reported outcomes included Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CES-D), Hamilton Depression Rating scale (HAM-D) and Major Depression Inventory (MDI).
The authors did not state how many reviewers performed study selection.