A Meta-Analysis on the Efficacy of Technology Mediated CBT for Anxious Children and Adolescents

  • Ioana R. Podina
  • Cristina Mogoase
  • Daniel David
  • Aurora Szentagotai
  • Anca DobreanEmail author


Several meta-analyses indicate that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) via electronic/technological devices or applications (i.e., eCBT) is an effective alternative to standard therapist-delivered CBT for anxious adults. However, we know little about the efficacy of eCBT interventions for anxious children and adolescents. The present meta-analysis set out to investigate the efficacy of eCBT in comparison to standard CBT or waitlist control for anxious children and adolescents. Eight randomized controlled studies (N = 404 participants) that targeted anxiety at post-intervention and follow-up were included in the analysis. The results indicated that eCBT was as effective as standard CBT (g = .295) and more effective than waitlist (g = 1.410) in reducing anxiety symptoms. Moderation analyses revealed that anxious children and adolescents benefited the most from eCBT in the minimal therapist involvement condition (g = 2.682) in contrast to the significant therapist involvement group (g = .326). Furthermore, older participants seemed to extract greater clinical benefits from eCBT in contrast to younger participants (slope = .514). Current eCBT interventions for anxious children and adolescents appear to be promising, but require further investigation.


Anxiety Children Adolescents Technology CBT Meta-analysis 



This work was supported by a Grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, CNCS—UEFISCDI, Project number PN-II-PT-PCCA-2011-3.1-1500, contract number 81/2012, coordinated by Dr. Anca Dobrean. Furthermore, Ioana Podina’s contribution to this work was also possible with the financial support of the Sectorial Operational Program for Human Resources Development 2007–2013, co-financed by the European Social Fund, under the project number POSDRU/159/1.5/S/132400 with the title “Young successful researchers—professional development in an international and interdisciplinary environment”. The authors would also like to thank Mirela Mohan proof reading this paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standard

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


References marked with an asterisk (*) mark articles included in the meta-analysis.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ioana R. Podina
    • 1
  • Cristina Mogoase
    • 1
  • Daniel David
    • 1
    • 2
  • Aurora Szentagotai
    • 1
  • Anca Dobrean
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychology and PsychotherapyBabeş-Bolyai UniversityCluj-NapocaRomania
  2. 2.Department of Oncological SciencesIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

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