Psychiatric Annals

Editorial Free

Digital and Electronic Applications in Psychiatry

Jan Fawcett, MD

This issue of Psychiatric Annals, guest edited by Michael B. Knable, DO, DFAPA, identifies various electronic applications (both Internet- and mobile-based) that can be used to enhance patient care in psychiatry.

The first article, “Quality Assessment of Self-Directed Software and Mobile Applications for the Treatment of Mental Illness” by Drs. John Torous, Adam Powell, and Knable, explains that because Internet-based therapies are in the infancy stage, there is a lack of consensus on what methods should be used to determine safety and effectiveness.

The next article, “Evaluating the Evidence for Online Interventions in Mental Health Care” by Dr. Katie Ashcroft, Bryony Insua-Summerhays, and Céline Schurter, evaluates computer cognitive-behavior therapy and psychoeducation.

Then, Drs. Jason Moehringer and Knable, in the article “Transdermal Electrical Neurostimulation Therapies in Psychiatry: A Review of the Evidence,” take a look at the data on the effect of neurostimulation and the conditions in which it was found to be effective.

The final article, “Electroencephalogram Neurofeedback: Application in ADHD and Epilepsy” by Drs. Kerstin Mayer and Martijn Arns, describes the mechanism of the application's therapeutic efficacy.

Although there are numerous claims for the usefulness of Internet-based and mobile-based applications, the psychiatry field is probably just seeing the beginning of these emerging therapies.


Jan Fawcett, MD

Jan Fawcett, MD, is a Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine. He was chairperson of the DSM-5 Mood Disorders Task Force.

Address correspondence to Jan Fawcett, MD, via email:


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