Information and Communication Technology for Mental Health: A Systematic Literature Review

Information and Communication Technology for Mental Health: A Systematic Literature Review

Shrutika Namle (Griffith University, Australia), Amir Hossein Ghapanchi (Griffith University, Australia) and Alireza Amrollahi (Griffith University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9978-6.ch047

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Information and Communication technology (ICT) is the tool of choice for a range of problems that exist around us. On the other hand, “health care is described as a complex, often cumbersome mix of community and hospital – based services, provided by a bewildering array of health professionals located in public and private facilities and organizations across the country”(Whetton, 2005). The need to manage the surge of expectations gives rise to the use of ICT in health care (Whetton, 2005). Gradually, the adoption of ICT in the various clinical departments of health has taken strength. There has been a reasonable amount of improvement since then.

There is an abundance of research available about the use of ICT in mental health. Literature demonstrates that ICT has been used for a variety of purposes in mental health. Mental health is an umbrella term covering a vast number of disorders and diseases. Also, technology has a wide range covering the simplest telephone to the most advanced smartphone and the simplest computer to the super computers that we have today. Due to the above variability, abundance of information and data is available on the use of ICT in mental health. However, there is no uniformity of the studies and of the data that is available. Thus, this systematic review on the various information and communication technologies associated with mental health is necessary in order to summarize the vast amount of literature available. The study aims to establish the effectiveness of the information and communication technologies used in the field of mental health. It will clarify what particular technologies are more commonly utilized to achieve various outcomes in mental health. Also, it will highlight what types of mental health problems could be better targeted, with the help of information and communication technology. The study will point out the areas which lack adequate research and would prove to be a good starting point for further studies. The following questions have been addressed in the study:

  • RQ1: What different types of information and communication technologies have been used for different types of mental health problems?

  • RQ2: Which mental disorders have been targeted for treatment with ICT?

  • RQ3: For which purposes ICT have been used in mental health area?

The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. Section 2 gives an overview of the literature. Section 3 describes the methodology used for conducting the literature review. Section 4 illustrates the results of the systematic literature review. We discuss the results of the study in Section 5 and provide some recommendations for future research.

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