Background: Depression is a significant public health issue that can lead to considerable disability and reduced quality of life. With the rise of technology, mobile health (mHealth) interventions, particularly smartphone apps, are emerging as a promising approach for addressing depression. However, the lack of standardized evaluation tools and evidence-based principles for these interventions remains a concern. Objective: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of mHealth interventions for depression and identify the criteria and evaluation tools used for their assessment. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature was carried out following the recommendations of the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement. Studies that recruited adult patients exhibiting elevated depressive symptoms or those diagnosed with depressive disorders and aimed to assess the effectiveness or safety of mHealth interventions were eligible for consideration. The primary outcome of interest was the reduction of depressive symptoms, and only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included in the analysis. The risk of bias in the original RCTs was assessed using version 2 of the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials. Results: A total of 29 RCTs were included in the analysis after a comprehensive search of electronic databases and manual searches. The efficacy of mHealth interventions in reducing depressive symptoms was assessed using a random effects meta-analysis. In total, 20 RCTs had an unclear risk of bias and 9 were assessed as having a high risk of bias. The most common element in mHealth interventions was psychoeducation, followed by goal setting and gamification strategies. The meta-analysis revealed a significant effect for mHealth interventions in reducing depressive symptoms compared with nonactive control (Hedges g=-0.62, 95% CI -0.87 to -0.37, I2=87%). Hybrid interventions that combined mHealth with face-to-face sessions were found to be the most effective. Three studies compared mHealth interventions with active controls and reported overall positive results. Safety analyses showed that most studies did not report any study-related adverse events. Conclusions: This review suggests that mHealth interventions can be effective in reducing depressive symptoms, with hybrid interventions achieving the best results. However, the high level of heterogeneity in the characteristics and components of mHealth interventions indicates the need for personalized approaches that consider individual differences, preferences, and needs. It is also important to prioritize evidence-based principles and standardized evaluation tools for mHealth interventions to ensure their efficacy and safety in the treatment of depression. Overall, the findings of this study support the use of mHealth interventions as a viable method for delivering mental health care.
Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículoe46877
Páginas (desde-hasta)1-18
Número de páginas18
PublicaciónJMIR Mental Health
EstadoPublicada - 27 sept 2023


Profundice en los temas de investigación de 'Efficacy, Safety, and Evaluation Criteria of mHealth Interventions for Depression: Systematic Review'. En conjunto forman una huella única.

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