Internet-based interventions to support recovery and self-management: A scoping review of their use by mental health service users and providers together

Anne Williams, John Farhall, Ellie Fossey, Neil Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Internet-based interventions can make self-management and recovery-oriented information and tools more accessible for people experiencing severe mental illness, including psychosis. The aim of this scoping review was to identify and describe emerging joint uses of these Internet-based interventions by service users experiencing psychosis and mental health workers. It also investigated how using these Internet-based interventions influenced interactions between service users and workers and whether recovery-oriented working practices were elicited. Methods: A scoping review method was used. Iterative review stages included identifying the review question, a comprehensive search including searching six electronic databases to locate relevant studies, selecting studies, charting the data, and collating and reporting the results. Rigour of the scoping review was enhanced by using an appraisal tool to evaluate the quality of included studies, and by using a published template for systematic description of interventions. Results: Fifteen papers about eleven Internet-based interventions that focused on self-management and/or recovery were identified. Interventions were web-based, mobile-device based, or both. The eleven interventions were used by service users either with their usual mental health workers, or with mental health workers employed in a research project. Emerging evidence suggested that jointly using an Internet-based intervention could support a positive sense of working together. However, mismatched expectations and poor integration of Internet-based interventions into service systems could also negatively influence interactions, leading to mistrust. The interventions demonstrated potential to elicit recognised recovery-oriented practices, specifically understanding service users' values and supporting their goal striving. Conclusions: The use of Internet-based interventions focused on self-management and recovery in mental health services by service users and workers jointly demonstrates potential to support working together and recovery-oriented practice. Given that the quality of relationships is critical in recovery-oriented practice, greater focus on human support in Internet-based interventions is needed in future research and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number191
Number of pages16
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2019


  • Internet
  • mental health
  • mental health services
  • psychosis
  • recovery-oriented practice
  • self-management
  • severe mental illness

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