Effectiveness of Online and Remote Interventions for Mental Health in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults After the Onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Linda Fischer-Grote, Vera Fössing, Martin Aigner, Elisabeth Fehrmann*, Markus Boeckle

*Korrespondierende:r Autor:in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Beitrag in Fachzeitschrift (peer-reviewed)Übersichtsartikel

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of mental illness increased in children, adolescents, and young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic, while at the same time, access to treatment facilities has been restricted, resulting in a need for the quick implementation of remote or online interventions.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to give an overview of randomized controlled studies examining remote or online interventions for mental health in children, adolescents, and young adults and to explore the overall effectiveness of these interventions regarding different symptoms.

METHODS: A systematic literature search was conducted according to PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis) guidelines using PubMed, PsycInfo, Psyndex, Embase, and Google Scholar. A meta-analysis was conducted using a random effects model to calculate overall effect sizes for interventions using standardized mean differences (SMDs) for postintervention scores.

RESULTS: We identified 17 articles with 8732 participants in the final sample, and 13 were included in the quantitative analysis. The studies examined different digital interventions for several outcomes, showing better outcomes than the control in some studies. Meta-analyses revealed significant medium overall effects for anxiety (SMD=0.44, 95% CI 0.20 to 0.67) and social functioning (SMD=0.42, 95% CI -0.68 to -0.17) and a large significant effect for depression (SMD=1.31, 95% CI 0.34 to 2.95). In contrast, no significant overall treatment effects for well-being, psychological distress, disordered eating, and COVID-19-related symptoms were found.

CONCLUSIONS: The qualitative and quantitative analyses of the included studies show promising results regarding the effectiveness of online interventions, especially for symptoms of anxiety and depression and for training of social functioning. However, the effectiveness needs to be further investigated for other groups of symptoms in the future. All in all, more research with high-quality studies is required.

OriginalspracheEnglisch
Aufsatznummere46637
Seiten (von - bis)e46637
FachzeitschriftJMIR Mental Health
Jahrgang11
Ausgabenummer1
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 05 Feb. 2024

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