Researchers found that mobile health interventions can be a viable health behavior change intervention modality for youth, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics.
A researcher team, led by David Fedele, Ph.D., department of clinical and health psychology at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Christopher Cushing, Ph.D., clinical child psychology program, at the University of Kansas, Lawrence and Alyssa Fritz from Life Span Institute, the University of Kansas, Lawrence, conducted a meta-analysis of 37 studies evaluating the use of mobile health interventions. The analysis involved 30,000 participants, and results were limited to infants, children, adolescents or young adults, when possible.
The research team wanted to examine the effectiveness of mobile health interventions for improving health outcomes in youth 18 years or younger.
The researchers found that providing mobile health intervention to a caregiver increased the strength of the intervention effect. Studies that involved caregivers in the intervention produced effect sizes larger than those that did not include caregivers.
Mobile health interventions had a small but significant positive effect on health outcomes in youth, the researchers found.
“Given the ubiquity of mobile phones, mobile health interventions offer promise in improving public health,” the study authors concluded.