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J Med Internet Res. 2017 Sep 13;19(9):e309. doi: 10.2196/jmir.7662.

User Acceptance of Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression: Systematic Review.

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Institute of Social Medicine, Occupational Health and Public Health, Medical Faculty, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, University Medical Centre, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
Mental Health and Psychotherapy, Stiftung Rehabilitation Heidelberg University of Applied Health Services, Gera, Germany.
Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) AdiposityDiseases, University Hospital, Leipzig, Germany.



Computerized cognitive behavioral therapy (cCBT) has been proven to be effective in depression care. Moreover, cCBT packages are becoming increasingly popular. A central aspect concerning the take-up and success of any treatment is its user acceptance.


The aim of this study was to update and expand on earlier work on user acceptance of cCBT for depression.


This paper systematically reviewed quantitative and qualitative studies regarding the user acceptance of cCBT for depression. The initial search was conducted in January 2016 and involved the following databases: Web of Science, PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and PsycINFO. Studies were retained if they described the explicit examination of the user acceptance, experiences, or satisfaction related to a cCBT intervention, if they reported depression as a primary outcome, and if they were published in German or English from July 2007 onward.


A total of 1736 studies were identified, of which 29 studies were eligible for review. User acceptance was operationalized and analyzed very heterogeneously. Eight studies reported a very high level of acceptance, 17 indicated a high level of acceptance, and one study showed a moderate level of acceptance. Two qualitative studies considered the positive and negative aspects concerning the user acceptance of cCBT. However, a substantial proportion of reviewed studies revealed several methodical shortcomings.


In general, people experience cCBT for depression as predominantly positive, which supports the potential role of these innovative treatments. However, methodological challenges do exist in terms of defining user acceptance, clear operationalization of concepts, and measurement.


behavior therapy; computerized cognitive behavior therapy; depression; depressive disorder; review; systematic review; user acceptance

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