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The efficacy of smartphone-based mental health interventions for depressive symptoms: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Overview of attention for article published in World Psychiatry, September 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#4 of 967)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (96th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
69 news outlets
blogs
11 blogs
policy
2 policy sources
twitter
231 tweeters
facebook
6 Facebook pages
wikipedia
1 Wikipedia page

Citations

dimensions_citation
518 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
861 Mendeley
Title
The efficacy of smartphone-based mental health interventions for depressive symptoms: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Published in
World Psychiatry, September 2017
DOI 10.1002/wps.20472
Pubmed ID
Authors

Joseph Firth, John Torous, Jennifer Nicholas, Rebekah Carney, Abhishek Pratap, Simon Rosenbaum, Jerome Sarris

Abstract

The rapid advances and adoption of smartphone technology presents a novel opportunity for delivering mental health interventions on a population scale. Despite multi-sector investment along with wide-scale advertising and availability to the general population, the evidence supporting the use of smartphone apps in the treatment of depression has not been empirically evaluated. Thus, we conducted the first meta-analysis of smartphone apps for depressive symptoms. An electronic database search in May 2017 identified 18 eligible randomized controlled trials of 22 smartphone apps, with outcome data from 3,414 participants. Depressive symptoms were reduced significantly more from smartphone apps than control conditions (g=0.38, 95% CI: 0.24-0.52, p<0.001), with no evidence of publication bias. Smartphone interventions had a moderate positive effect in comparison to inactive controls (g=0.56, 95% CI: 0.38-0.74), but only a small effect in comparison to active control conditions (g=0.22, 95% CI: 0.10-0.33). Effects from smartphone-only interventions were greater than from interventions which incorporated other human/computerized aspects along the smartphone component, although the difference was not statistically significant. The studies of cognitive training apps had a significantly smaller effect size on depression outcomes (p=0.004) than those of apps focusing on mental health. The use of mood monitoring softwares, or interventions based on cognitive behavioral therapy, or apps incorporating aspects of mindfulness training, did not affect significantly study effect sizes. Overall, these results indicate that smartphone devices are a promising self-management tool for depression. Future research should aim to distil which aspects of these technologies produce beneficial effects, and for which populations.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 231 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 861 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 861 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 121 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 110 13%
Student > Bachelor 94 11%
Researcher 92 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 62 7%
Other 181 21%
Unknown 201 23%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 244 28%
Medicine and Dentistry 94 11%
Computer Science 50 6%
Nursing and Health Professions 47 5%
Social Sciences 39 5%
Other 142 16%
Unknown 245 28%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 754. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 13 May 2022.
All research outputs
#18,632
of 21,322,016 outputs
Outputs from World Psychiatry
#4
of 967 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#386
of 295,028 outputs
Outputs of similar age from World Psychiatry
#1
of 30 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 21,322,016 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 967 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 35.3. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 295,028 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 30 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.