HumanInsight Effectiveness of videoconference-delivered psychotherapy for children, adolescents, and their parents: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
J Telemed Telecare. 2023 Sep 16:1357633X231199784. doi: 10.1177/1357633X231199784. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Over the last years, videoconference-delivered psychotherapy (VCP) has found its way into clinical practice. This meta-analysis is the first to evaluate the effectiveness of VCP for children and adolescents with a mental disorder and their parents.
METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared the effectiveness of VCP for youths with a mental disorder to a control condition. Twelve studies were included. Two reviewers independently extracted data and rated study quality.
RESULTS: Effect size estimates for measures of children's symptoms of mental disorders were large for comparison between VCP and waitlist (posttreatment: Hedges's g = -1.26, k = 5) and negligible for comparisons between VCP and in-person treatment (posttreatment: g = 0.00, k = 6; follow-up: g = -0.05, k = 3). Similarly, effect size estimates for measures of children's functional impairments were large for comparison between VCP and waitlist (posttreatment: g = -1.10, k = 3) and negligible for comparisons between VCP and in-person treatment (posttreatment: g = -0.23, k = 3; follow-up: g = 0.04, k = 2). VCP more effectively reduced symptoms in children with an internalizing disorder (g = -0.88, k = 5) compared to externalizing disorders (g = 0.25, k = 2) or tic disorders (g = -0.08, k = 3).
DISCUSSION: The results provide preliminary evidence that VCP is an effective treatment for youths with a mental disorder and their parents. VCP was equally effective as in-person treatment in reducing children's symptoms and functional impairments. Limitations include the limited number of RCTs and incomplete reporting of methodological features.
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