Mobile technology is increasingly being used to enhance health and wellness, including in the assessment and treatment of psychiatric disorders. Such applications have been referred to collectively as mHealth, and this article provides a comprehensive review and clinical perspective of research regarding mHealth in late-life mood and anxiety disorders. The novel data collection offered by mHealth has contributed to a broader understanding of psychopathology, to an increased diversity of psychological interventions, and to novel methods of assessment that may ultimately provide individually adaptive mental health care for this population. Older adults face challenges (e.g., transportation, mobility) that limit their ability to receive medical and mental health care services, and mHealth may improve the capacity to reach this population. Although several mobile interventions exist for health-related issues in older adults (e.g., balance, diabetes, medication management), mHealth targeting psychiatric disorders is limited and most often focuses on problems related to dementia, cognitive dysfunction, and memory loss. Given that depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health concerns among this population, mHealth has strong potential for broad public health interventions that may improve effectiveness of mental health care via individualized assessments and treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
JournalHarvard review of psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • anxiety
  • depression
  • geriatrics
  • mHealth
  • mental health
  • mobile applications


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