E-health interventions

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E- health is the provision of health services and/or information via the Internet or associated technologies [98]. Since its relatively recent appearance, it has been referred to as one of the most important revolutionary additions to modern healthcare [436]. E-health interventions provide the opportunity to overcome traditional barriers to treatment that often prevent people seeking help, including social or cultural prejudices, stigma, difficulties accessing services, finding appropriate available services, as well as financial and geographical barriers [437-439]. E-health interventions have the capacity to overcome difficulties associated with face-to-face treatment, including gender differences [440], the inclusion of more marginalised socioeconomic and cultural groups [441], and reducing the costs and increasing the standardisation of traditional treatments [438, 442].

Advances in technology over the past decade have enabled e-health interventions to include strategies such as self-monitoring and assessment, psychoeducation, goal setting, skill building, and feedback through the use of telephone and videoconferencing, mobile phones, sensors, social media, virtual reality, and gaming [443]. E-health interventions can also be used to supplement psychotherapy, or as an alternative for people who do not want, or are not suitable for pharmacotherapy [444]. Therapy can be conducted at home, and has 24-hour availability. Research has demonstrated that e-health interventions allow for the delivery of clinically effective, cost effective treatment, based on gold standard programs, which are highly engaging [445-449]. A number of e-health interventions have been developed for AOD and specific mental health disorders. These are described in Chapter B6.