Advances in Digital CBT: Where are we now, and where next?
Thew G., Rozental A., Hadjistavropoulos H.
Digital CBT refers to the use of digital tools, platforms, or devices to deliver or enhance CBT assessment, formulation, treatment, training and supervision. The ‘Advances in Digital CBT’ special issue aimed to document examples of innovative digital CBT practice in this rapidly developing field. In this paper, we have briefly summarised and synthesised the advances demonstrated in this group of articles. These include developments in our understanding of mental health apps, the use of digital tools as an adjunct to therapy, the effectiveness of remotely delivered CBT in routine clinical practice, our understanding of user experiences and involvement, and in digital CBT research methods. We consider the extent of current knowledge in these areas and identify where gaps in evidence lie and how the field could be taken forward to address these. Lastly, we reflect on the broader digital CBT picture and offer our suggestions of six key directions for future research: Using robust study designs to evaluate and optimise digital tools; Translating and culturally adapting digital tools and practices; Understanding and addressing digital exclusion; Exploring, reporting and addressing possible negative effects; Improving user involvement in design and evaluation; and addressing the implementation gap for digital tools. We suggest that further advances in these areas would be of particular benefit to the digital CBT field.