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Effects of Internet-Based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (IACT) on Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Jing Wang, Shuanghu Fang*

School of Educational Science, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, 241000, China

* Corresponding Author: Shuanghu Fang. Email:

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2023, 25(4), 433-448.


Objectives: This study reviewed published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and evaluated the efficacy of internet-based acceptance and commitment therapy (IACT) on adolescent mental health. Methods: Searches were conducted in PubMed, ProQuest, APA (PsycNET/PsycINFO), and Web of Science from inception to January 2022 to identify RCTs evaluating the effects of IACT on adolescents. The included studies were assessed for quality and risk of bias. This study was performed using the standard mean difference and associated 95% confidence interval of effective measures. Review Manager 5.4 software was adopted to calculate the effect size. Results: Compared to adolescents in control groups, those in the IACT groups showed some improvement in the efficacy of depression symptoms (SMD = −0.24, 95% CI = [−0.44, −0.05], p = 0.01) and had a small but significant effect on reducing experiential avoidance (SMD = −0.24, 95% CI = [−0.46, −0.01], p = 0.04). However, the effect size on anxiety did not reach the threshold (SMD = −0.18, 95% CI = [−0.27, −0.09], p < 0.0001). In addition, there were no significant differences in stress and well-being compared to those of the control group. Compared with universal adolescents, IACT was found to have a more significant therapeutic effect on targeted adolescents. Conclusions: IACT is effective in adolescent mental health interventions, but its clinical reliability and significant efficacy are limited, and more rigorous RCTs are needed in future studies.


Cite This Article

Wang, J., Fang, S. (2023). Effects of Internet-Based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (IACT) on Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 25(4), 433–448.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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