Online Interventions Discussion

Depression is a major problem that is significantly affecting adolescents. Depressive symptoms tend to interfere with their school attendance and academic performance disrupts their peer and family relationships and affects their daily functioning. For most adolescents, depression is a lifelong and recurrent illness making it essential for them to access timely treatment and assessment (Wozney et al., 2017). Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are among the best therapeutic interventions for teenagers with depression. In the past, CBT and IPT were only delivered through face-to-face therapies, but contemporary internet-based delivery is becoming more functional due to availability, accessibility, and uptake barriers. Internet-based CBT and IPT consist of interactions between patients and their therapist through web calls, provision of therapeutic content, and treatment programs in form of multimedia.

Persuasive System Design (PSD) is a critical theory for evaluating the effectiveness of internet-based CBT and IPT. Derived from information technology systems models and behavior change models, PSD provides a wide framework to explore how the interventions influence behaviors and attitudes of adolescents with depressive symptoms (Wozney et al., 2017). The theory comprises four critical components relating to internet-based therapy’s persuasiveness. These components include system credibility, social, primary task, and dialogue support. The internet-based CBT and IPT should use persuasive mechanisms and take a persuasive role in online delivery texts, video, simulation, or virtual world and facilitate social experience through the use of voice communication or physical features. They shole also take different roles and use social dynamics such as taking turns, apologies, and greetings. The persuasive features of PSD are significantly linked to the outcomes of each internet-based intervention.

One of the major strengths of internet-based interventions is that it reduces the risk of selection and publication biases and enables a wide use of evidence-based programs. They also help uncover conditions and contexts hot typically captured in the traditions of CBT and IPT. Additionally, internet-based therapies provide a more thorough assessment of depression and are readily available (Wozney et al., 2017). However, internet-based therapies pay little attention to behavioral symptoms of depression since they largely focus on cognitive issues. Nonetheless, there is little engagement between adolescents and their therapists through internet-based communication channels. Most adolescents seem to be occupied by other things such as social media.
















Wozney, L., Huguet, A., Bennett, K., Radomski, A. D., Hartling, L., Dyson, M., … & Newton, A. S. (2017). How do eHealth programs for adolescents with depression work? A realist review of persuasive system design components in internet-based psychological therapies. Journal of medical Internet research19(8), e7573. doi: 10.2196/jmir.7573


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